A report from WRAP Cymru has shown that source separated collections offer the most cost effective approach to achieving higher recycling rates.
Commissioned by the Welsh Government, the report Harmonised Recycling Collections Costs Project: Phase One looked at the overall cost options of different collection schemes.
The research assumed that that weekly food waste collections and restrictions on residual waste collection would be needed for authorities in Wales to meet Welsh Government targets.
By switching from commingled to source separated, councils could save between £900,000 and £1.2 million, while savings of between £1 million and £1.3 million could be saved by switching to a twin stream collection.
Although source separated costs more in terms of infrastructure, the payback time was just two years. Sorting costs were much lower and income from materials higher from source separated.
WRAP Cymru head Carl Nichols said: “While it must be noted that it may not be feasible for every authority to make the same savings, our report shows that the potential overall annual savings of adopting the source separated collection method are significant, and that the initial outlay of switching over can be recouped within two years.”