The power of recycling

Lockdown has made people more environmentally aware…and one of the best ways to take better care of our planet’s resources is through recycling.

Over the coming days, we are celebrating National Recycle Week, under the banner Together – We Recycle. It takes place from 21 September to 27 September. Now in its 17th year, Recycle Week highlights the power of recycling.

“Together with our waste contractor Biffa, we have worked hard to ensure that our recycling and garden waste collections have been carried out throughout the pandemic, whenever staffing levels allowed,” said Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden Cabinet member for Waste Management. “We know how important recycling is to our residents. Many have used the extra time staying at home to make the most of our recycling services. It will help make a real difference to the long term sustainability of our communities.

“We are still recycling nearly 50% of our rubbish, and one of our key aims is to increase this in the next few years.”
Statistics released by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) show that during lockdown, the UK has become even more environmentally aware. Nearly 9 in 10 households said they regularly recycled. Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment. An amazing 93% of UK households say they believe that everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment.

Data for the 2019/20 financial year in Wealden, mostly before lockdown, show that the percentage of dry recycling material collected in the District increased from 24.97% in 2018/19 to 25.75%. The total household rubbish collected per head of population in 2019/20 decreased by 1.2% compared to 2018/19, as people became more conscious of waste.

The introduction of a paid-for garden waste service did see a slight fall in the overall level of waste collected for reuse, recycling or composting to 49.47%. Support for the Wealden garden waste service continues to grow. As of 14 August, 32,049 customers had signed up to the service.

Recycle Week aims to ‘Thank the Nation’ for continuing to recycle despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. Recycling is one of those individual actions which, when performed by everyone, adds up to a huge change.

Just recycling one more item a day makes a real difference to our world. We may all regularly recycle items like plastic milk bottles and glass bottles from the kitchen. But think about the bathroom, bedroom and living room.

You can recycle toothpaste boxes, toilet roll inner tubes plastic shampoo, bleach and bathroom cleaners, and liquid soap bottles from the bathroom. In the bedroom, empty tissue boxes, old magazines and empty deodorant aerosols can be recycled. In the living room, envelopes, newspapers and cardboard packaging from online shopping can all go straight into the recycling bin.

Top tips for recycling in Wealden
• Recycle more of these items: shampoo bottles; empty deodorants, cardboard packaging.
• Make sure these never go in the recycling bin: textiles, food waste and black plastic bags.

For a full list of what can and cannot go in the recycling bin have a look at your Recycling Calendar. Or visit our website www.wealden.gov.uk/recycling and click on the What goes in each container link.
Find out more about the week on Recycle Now’s website: https://wrap.org.uk/content/recycle-week-2020