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using black bags is five times more expensive than recycling

Council research shows that using black bags is five times more expensive than recycling

Putting your rubbish into traditional black bags to dispose of costs five times as much as recycling the material according to new figures from Cornwall Council.

Research carried out by the Council shows that the average black bag of rubbish costs £1.99 to collect and dispose of compared with just 41 pence to deal with a bag of recycling.

“The costs of the “black bag” waste compared to recycling help to show our residents how much small actions taken at home to reduce and recycle waste can help save the public funds for other services” said Paul Martin, the Council’s Waste Policy and Integration Manager. “Good information is essential for planning our services and demonstrating to the public that what they do individually at home does make a difference to the bigger picture.”

All recycling and refuse bags are collected from the kerbside with the real difference in cost occurring once the bag has been picked up. The “black bags” of rubbish are disposed of in landfill which is extremely expensive.

“Not only do the landfill sites themselves cost a lot to run, the Council also has to pay additional landfill taxes to the Government for every tonne of material put into landfill” said Paul Martin. “In contrast recycled materials can be sold to companies which then re process it for other uses. This can cover the costs of collection and some valuable materials such as aluminium even make a profit that offsets costs of collecting less financially valuable materials."

Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Waste Management, Climate Change and Historic Environment said “We want to promote recycling for many reasons, but in this climate with the intense pressure on public funds and services, the bottom line costs savings that recycling offers cannot be ignored.”

“I strongly encourage any resident who does not recycle or who thinks they might be able to do a bit more to get in touch with us. We have a wealth of support materials on why and how to recycle your waste. Every item that can be correctly disposed of by recycling will save money. ”

For more information on how to recycle please contact us using the Refuse and Recycling line 0300 1234 141 or emailing

For more information on recycling please visit

Story posted 11 August 2010