Early figures suggest a range of changes brought in to help the Council meet tough Welsh Government recycling targets have been a big success.

With regard to kerbside recycling, a mighty 422 tonnes extra was collected in Neath Port Talbot in April this year compared to April 2018.

Figures shown to councillors reveal that throughout April of last year, kerbside recycling amounted to a respectable1,757 tonnes but the figure for April this year catapulted to 2,179 tonnes – an improvement of 24%.

It is thought publicity campaigns plus a series of changes brought in to improve recycling rates along with co-operation from Neath Port Talbot householders is behind the encouraging April-to-April improvement.

Targets set by the Welsh Government require us all to recycle 64% of waste by 2019/20 and 70% by 2025.

The Council currently carries out more than five million refuse/recycling collections a year from 66,420 households – not including trade service, hygiene waste and bulky item collections.

Changes brought in by Neath Port Talbot Council in the past year to help increase re-cycling rates have included:

* Expansion of the Re-Use shop in Briton Ferry where a host of unwanted treasures like TVs, furniture, gym equipment, tea sets etc can be bought at bargain prices.

* Changing the way green waste is collected from single use plastic bags to re-usable sacks.

* Implementation and enforcement of a new “no side waste” rule, which means no black bags can be left alongside wheelie bins. In black sack areas the number of bags are limited to three.

* A major drive to cut food waste by encouraging greater use of food recycling caddies (as food is by far the biggest category of waste people fail to recycle).

* The introduction of black bag presentation areas at Household Waste and Recycling Centres. Under these new arrangements, residents arriving at the centres with black bags or general waste are being asked to remove recyclable items – with users of the centres also being asked to sort their waste before bringing it.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, Cllr Ted Latham said: “On behalf of the Council I would like to thank people who have co-operated with us over the years on recycling and particularly during the past 12 months when there have been a lot of changes to help us keep up with the targets we are being set.”