Are You Really Recycling?
Published date: 04 July 2020
Published date: 04 July 2020
Redditch residents are set to be reminded that recycling could be a waste of time if not done properly.
Round by round bin crews will be popping leaflets through doors to remind residents about what items can be put in their green bins.
If the wrong things are put in the green bin, it can contaminate the whole truck-full of items which then have to be sent off to be burnt, rather than recycled.
In Redditch, during a spot check of one truck which had collected from green bins, 23% of the contents were found to be contaminated or non-recyclable items including general waste like nappies, animal waste and sanitary waste.
In the same load an additional 3% was material which can be recycled elsewhere (such as Household Recycling Centres) but cannot be accepted in kerbside collections, such as clothing, wood or electrical items.
Although the small amount of energy created from burning general waste is used by the National Grid, it is not as effective or as environmentally friendly as recycling which uses 95% less energy to make new products than using raw materials.
For instance, recycling a bleach bottle can save enough energy to power a street light for 6 1/2 hours or recycling just one drinks can could save enough energy to power a TV for 4 hours.
Redditch Borough Councillor Brandon Clayton, whose Portfolio covers Environmental Services, said: “Redditch Borough Council is committed to having a positive impact on Climate Change and has set up a committee to deal with such issues.
“Our contamination rate is shockingly high and it is not fair that our residents who are recycling properly are not seeing their efforts end with the results they intended.
“This leaflet reminds people what they can recycle but also that the Council can legally refuse to collect a bin that is contaminated until the resident has put it right.
“And, with the threat that in 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish, we are prepared to take such action if the information we are giving to residents, via a lot of different channels, is not taken on board.”
Councillor Matt Dormer, Leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “This new way of working is not designed to punish those conscientious residents who do their best to recycle properly but to stop the inconsiderate people who contaminate collections by putting obvious general waste in their recycling bins.
“We are not in the business of issuing fixed penalty notices for waste – which some other councils do – but instead want to work with residents to unlock a cleaner, greener borough and significantly reduce the impact of contamination.”
Residents should look out for the leaflets from the end of January and over the next few months and retain them somewhere useful (such as the fridge) as a daily reminder.