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Bin bag splitting initiative at recycling centres aims to boost recycling rates

13 Sep 2016 14:08

Staff at re3’s recycling centres in Bracknell and Reading are sorting through waste brought to the facilities in bin bags as a way to increase recycling rates.

In recent trials, re3 found that around 41% of the waste deposited at the centres in bin bags was recyclable. Most of the recovered material was card and paper, textiles, electrical appliances and green waste, all of which can be placed into separate bays at the centres to ensure that they are recycled properly.

By diverting this waste away from landfill, residents working with re3 can help to keep costs down and reduce the negative effects landfilling has on the environment. It costs around £126 to send a tonne of recycling centre waste to landfill, compared to £35 to recycle the same amount.

Residents should still separate their waste as much as possible before visiting the recycling centres so that it can be disposed of more quickly and easily. However, beginning this month, visitors who bring any other waste in bin bags are being asked to leave them in a cage. The bags will then be collected, taken to the bag splitting area and opened to remove any other material for recycling that may have been missed. Staff will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information on how people can recycle more and better.

Existing recycling centre staff will open bags and remove recyclables in a designated area during quieter times of the day, meaning that the team is still available to assist those residents who may require help or advice. All waste remains anonymous and all household waste brought to the recycling centres in bin bags will continue to be accepted for processing.

Bracknell Forest’s Executive Member for Environment, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes MBE said: “Paper and cardboard, plastic bottles, tins and cans, and aerosols can all be recycled from home. However we know residents sometimes have that little bit extra – like cardboard packaging from a furniture delivery – that they want to bring to the recycling centre.

By splitting bin bags, we are working hard to ensure that everything that can be recycled is recycled. This is a win-win for council tax payers and for the environment – it cuts costs and reduces waste.”

Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Liz Terry said: “There were over 1,000,000 visits to our recycling centres last year, so we know that residents are keen to bring household waste to the re3 sites. However, not everyone might realise that you should separate general waste from recycling – like you do with your bins and boxes at home – before taking a bag full of rubbish to the recycling centre.

Separated waste is easier to recycle into higher value items, and this initiative aims to get the most out of the waste we collect at re3 by helping to make savings, improve performance and by sending less waste to landfill.”

Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for environment Cllr Angus Ross said: “With recycling, every little helps, and by splitting bags and removing recyclable items, we will be able to extract the best value out of waste that can be processed and reused, while reducing what we send to landfill.

Residents can also help by recycling more from home and bringing non-bagged waste to the centres that can be easily separated into the relevant bays. Our staff are always happy to assist and point visitors in the right direction.”

A short film on the bag splitting initiative is available here:

https://youtu.be/GtYwAvHUbJg

For more information on re3, please visit www.re3.org.uk or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @re3recycling

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