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One issue raised during the research has been the impact of a smaller black residual bin on families with children in nappies, typically under four years. The main issue raised has been capacity, especially when more than one child is using disposable nappies.

The population of South Gloucestershire is estimated to be 262,767. The 2013 mid- year figures estimated there were a total of 16,211 children aged under five years.

  • 3,109 were under 1
  • 3,156 were aged 1
  • 3,249 were aged 2
  • 3,375 were aged 3

Of particular interest when considering bin capacity is the number of dependent children in one family. In South Gloucestershire the following is estimated for families with:

  • one dependent child aged under four is 5,174
  • two dependent children with at least one aged under four is 4,996
  • three or more dependent children with at least one child under four is 2,297

Data on the number of families with more than one dependent child aged under 4 is not available.

In total 12,467 families have at least one child aged under four years old.

Currently families with at least two children in disposal nappies can have residual waste capacity of 380 litres a fortnight instead of the standard 240 litres. It is felt that the current policy is generous and does not encourage waste prevention or recycling. However, a bin capacity of 140 litres a fortnight may make it difficult for families with children in disposal nappies especially when there is more than one child in nappies.

Research has been undertaken to look at how other authorities manage nappies with restricted residual capacity.

Local authority Frequency of collection Method Waste stream
Torfean Council Fortnightly Heavy duty bags collected separately (free of charge) Household residual
Monmouthshire Council Fortnightly Yellow and black ‘tiger stripes’ bags Clinical waste
Cardiff council Weekly Week 1 – inside the bin. Week 2 – separate bag collection
Gwynedd Council Weekly Yellow sack
St Albans Fortnightly Sacks – 26 provided. Max. of 2 per collection
Wyre Forest Fortnightly Separate bin Household residual
Epsom (no restricted bin capacity) Weekly Separate bin for nappy and clinical waste


Relevance to the strategy
The draft strategy set out a proposal to give families with at least three children in disposal nappies a capacity of 240 litres. The further research recommends an alternative proposal of a separate nappy collection, collected alongside the household waste stream. Free bags would also be provided by the council.