DENBIGHSHIRE County Council’s decision to scrap the blue wheelie bin has been labelled one of the worst decisions the local authority has made by the Vale of Clwyd MP.

James Davies had been campaigning the council’s plan to scrap the blue wheelie bin since it was suggested.

But last week, the council made public its plans to introduce a new recycling system on June 3, when residents will be required to separate their “dry” recycling using a new three-tier trolleybox.

These will be delivered to households before the end of May.


New recycling and waste system to come to Denbighshire

Rhyl Journal: The new system will launch in JuneThe new system will launch in June (Image: Denbighshire County Council)

Dr Davies said: “The reason given for the change has been the need to increase recycling rates, yet the 2022-23 statistics demonstrate that Denbighshire is currently achieving an impressive 65.9 per cent recycling rate. 

“It is already performing above average for Wales, and second best out of the six councils in North Wales.

“Importantly, it does better than some councils which already have the model it intends to implement.

“The actual reason for the change has always been about saving money, and receiving millions in the process for setup costs from Welsh Government. 

“Yet the projected annual savings were always small and based on variable factors. 

“I consider the council's decision to ignore opposition and plough ahead regardless to be one of the worst decisions it has ever made, and to be unforgivable in the context of this year's 9.34 per cent council tax increase.”

Dr Davies suggested that there are other ways in which recycling rates could be boosted while retaining the blue wheelie bin. 

He had made two particular suggestions to the council in July 2021 – firstly, that optimal recycling promotion and enforcement activity be implemented on the existing system.

And secondly, that a full assessment be carried out on the impact of the forthcoming national Deposit Return Scheme.

Dr Davies added: “Even at this late stage, the council should re-evaluate its plans and seek all ways in which the blue bin could be retained.”

In response, Cllr Barry Mellor, the council’s lead member for environment and transport, highlighted the three main benefits which it believes its new waste service will provide:

  • It is better for the environment because it will increase recycling rates and the quality of recyclable materials to enable them to be made into new products.
  • It will be cheaper to run than the current service, and so provides better value for money to Denbighshire residents.
  • It will lead to the creation of 27 new jobs, and the expansion of four businesses on the Colomendy Industrial Estate in Denbigh to build its new waste depot.

Cllr Mellor said: “We are disappointed that, despite corresponding and meeting with Dr Davies on a number of occasions regarding the new waste model, he has failed to understand how important this change is for Denbighshire and the long-term benefits it will bring. 

“It is also disappointing that Dr Davies continues to suggest to Denbighshire residents that we can choose not to implement the new model, despite being told on many occasions that it is several years too late to change a decision that was made in December 2018 by the then Conservative/Independent coalition cabinet.

“We have now almost completed a new, purpose -build depot for the new service, and we have also purchased all the new containers and vehicles.

“We are 100 per cent convinced that the new service is the right decision, and it therefore makes no sense whatsoever to change our minds now.

“It would also be a huge waste of taxpayers’ money if the council were to fail to proceed with the new system at this stage. This has all been explained to Dr Davies on many occasions, but he does not seem to hear that message.

“Even with the additional collections and the increased number of staff, the new service will be cheaper to run than the existing model, and more importantly it will be better for the environment.”