The UK has made great strides in improving the volume and quality of recyclable materials over the last decade, but contamination still poses significant problems for the waste and recycling sector.
Items such as nappies, sanitary products and dirty pizza boxes are routinely found in commingled recycling loads and such contamination can lead to entire lorries full of material being rejected. Indeed, Councils in the UK dumped or incinerated almost 500,000 tonnes of ‘contaminated’ recycling in the last year.
Contamination in the household recycling stream is driven in part by the public’s mistaken assumption that recycling information on products means they are collected by all councils.
To raise awareness of contamination and help the public understand exactly what they can and can’t recycle, Casepak is joining forces with Leicestershire County Council for a new campaign to encourage residents to put the right things in their recycling bins.
The ‘Don’t let your recycling go to waste’ campaign launched earlier this month and offers householders clear, concise advice on how to avoid putting incorrect items into their recycling bins. It aims to boost the recycling of high-quality materials and reduce the number of contaminated items currently present in Leicestershire’s stream, before it is sent to Casepak’s 165,000 tonnes per annum MRF in Braunstone Frith.
Our very own Lee Bradbury, Greg Smith, Conor Dauven, James Latham and Patricia Headley all star in the campaign. Operations Manager Lee commented: “Just one contaminated item – an unwashed food tray, jam jar or even a single, used nappy – has the potential to pollute an otherwise perfectly good quality load of material on its way to be recycled and repurposed into new products.”
Georgina Cullen, Business Development Director at Casepak, said: “The campaign is about communicating with households to help them get the best out of their recycling. We’re proud that key members of the MRF team are able to help advise Leicestershire residents through this campaign.”
Casepak and Leicestershire County Council have produced a useful Recycling Guide aimed at householders, which details issued faced with contaminated material and tips on what can and cannot be recycled at the MRF. A copy can be downloaded from www.lesswaste.org.uk