The data revealed by the FoI request showed that 338,000 tonnes of waste had been rejected in the year 2014/15 compared to 184,000 tonnes in 2011/12. However the overall amount recycled has increased from 10.7m tonnes to 11m tonnes over the same period, but the rejected amount is still cause for concern as it goes to either landfill or incineration.
WRAP, the resource efficiency experts, blame the confusing array of different recycling schemes across the country and not just people, for example, trying to recycle cardboard soiled with grease.
Over at ACE UK, the carton recycling company, Mandy Kelly was more direct blaming budget cuts. She said:
“The priority for councils has of course been to maintain front line services and communications budgets have often been a casualty when making savings (Ed: tell me about it). Unfortunately this is now translating into rising quality issues and flatlining recycling rates.However the figures represent an average of about 3% of the overall amount recycled with some councils doing worse and some better. The bad boys were Kirklees (14.99%), Greenwich (14.4%) and Hull (14.2%). We do not have any figures for Redbridge, since the Sustainability Forum was itself subject to a budget cut back in 2013 and we don’t get to see this information any more.
“This is an area where the industry can provide valuable support to our colleagues in the public sector. ACE UK supplies free communications materials to help councils engage residents in recycling programmes. However there is still a big opportunity for the industry to do more to help.”
So here’s a quick reminder about what you can and can’t put in your Redbridge recycling box.
For your cardboard to be taken, it must be flattened and presented inside your existing recycling box. It may be necessary to cut larger items up to ensure they fit in the box.
Plastic items such as meat trays, fruit punnets, yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, (and any other plastic packaging) do NOT go in your recycling box, even if they have a recycling logo on. There are many different types of plastic and we currently do not have the facilities to separate them, so putting them in your box causes contamination. Rigid plastic containers can often be recycled in bins in larger supermarket, check your local stores.
Shredded paper is perfect for compost bins, but can also go in your kerbside box. In order to avoid the shredded paper blowing around, please ensure it is either wrapped in other paper, presented in a paper bag, or sandwiched between heavier paper items in your box, such as magazines and newspapers.
More information on recycling other materials like batteries, light bulbs, aluminium, electrical items and hard plastic can be found here.
If you are a visitor who lives in another borough then please consult you own borough website.