|Residents living in West Oxfordshire are asked to check the suitability of their waste for recycling before it goes in the blue-lidded wheeled bin or, in the case of glass, the black kerbside box, as the District Council lends its voice to this year’s national Recycle Week (17-23 October).
|The focus of the latest campaign by Recycle Now encourages householders up and down the country to ‘get real’ about recycling, in a push to keep up the quality of materials which can be simply and effectively reprocessed and to recycle more of the right materials more often.
The campaign is also highlighting the problems of putting unwanted items into the kerbside recycling purely in the hope that they will get recycled down the line and advises that putting in too many of the wrong things, can result in entire loads being rejected by the companies that reprocess the waste.
Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Cabinet Member for Environment at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This year’s Recycle Now campaign is about encouraging residents to use their kerbside services correctly to help the environment. West Oxfordshire’s residents are some of the best recyclers in the country with around 58% of what is collected from homes going on to be recycled or composted. This is a great achievement and shows just how dedicated residents are when it comes to recycling.
“However, Recycle Week is an opportunity to highlight some of the issues that putting the wrong items out for recycling, or presenting them incorrectly, can cause.
“While collecting recyclables all together in a wheeled bin makes using the service easier for householders, this does mean that crews are unable to check everything which is being presented. It’s only once the materials end up at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), where the items will eventually get sorted out, that we can gauge the quality of what has been collected. Needlessly transporting materials not destined for recycling costs time, wastes fuel and has implications for the environment and the sorting process. We’re asking residents to get behind this year’s campaign and check beforehand if they are unsure of what items are suitable to be recycled.”
Some of the most problematic items found in the Council’s recycling bins are plastic sacks and carrier bags, plastic film, food and textiles.
To support the efficient recycling of materials residents are reminded that recycling must be put loose into the wheeled bin. As part of the separation process, recycling is loaded onto a conveyor belt where different methods – typically magnets, currents, and optical sorting – will be used to identify different materials and mechanically separate them back out. Bagged recycling disrupts this.
Stretchy plastics, such as bags and plastic film, also create an issue as they can easily catch in the mechanisms of the equipment at the MRF and cause the sorting process to be held up or halted until the troublesome items can be removed. This costs a lot of time.
In order to be reused or reworn, textiles must be dry but also clean. Therefore, any unwanted clothing and paired shoes should be bagged, with handles tied, and left beside the recycling bin on collection day.
Residents who are uncertain about what items are currently accepted by the District Council or how they should be presented are encouraged to visit the Council’s web pages: https://www.westoxon.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/what-to-put-in-your-bin/
Oxfordshire Recycles’ Waste Wizard online tool can help householders find the right way to recycle hundreds of their unwanted items including items not currently collected by the District Council: www.westoxon.gov.uk/wastewizard.