Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Recycling has just got a whole lot easier

It’s no secret that I care a great deal about the environment and like so many other residents across the county I recycle wherever I can. The recycling bins have, I am pleased to say, become very well used over the years. The result being that our recycling rate is now just over 41%, but there is a national target of 50% recycling by 2020, so more has to be done.

One comment that I often receive when I am out and about is ‘why can’t we recycle pots, tubs and trays’, and I understand this frustration. In West Sussex we wanted to be sure there were secure markets available for any plastics we collected and that we can be certain those plastics will be recycled. So I’m really pleased to announce that from Wednesday 1 April, all West Sussex households will be able to recycle household plastic like pots, tubs and trays in their recycling bin.

Hopefully this will clear up any confusion over items that can be recycled and those that can’t. By opening up recycling to more plastic items, it will be a lot easier for everyone.

So from 1 April, all those yogurt pots, cream pots, ready meal trays, ice cream tubs and fruit and vegetable trays can go straight in the recycling bin – along with paper, bottles, tins and jars, making life a little simpler and easier.

This is good news for West Sussex for a number of reasons. With this change, recycling levels should see an increase of around 4,000 tonnes a year. This should push our recycling levels as a county to just over 42%, so getting a little nearer to the 2020 target, and will mean 4,000 less tonnes of items going to landfill.

And from a financial point of view it makes sense. Waste disposal is expensive and it is far more cost effective to send materials for sorting and then on for recycling than it is to dispose of rubbish to landfill. We will see a reduction in landfill tax payments, currently these stand at £82 per tonne of waste delivered to landfill. In these tight financial times any saving is to be welcomed.

By making plastics easier to recycle for residents, we hope everyone will be encouraged to recycle more. Increased quantities of good quality recycling conserves valuable resources, provides better value for money than disposal and also has a much lower carbon footprint than other forms of waste treatment and disposal. The better the quality of the materials collected, then the better value for money the service provides. That’s why it’s so important to have recycling clean, dry and loose in your bins.

But just as a reminder, there are some plastics which cannot be recycled. We’re not able to accept garden plastics such as seed trays or plant pots, plastic bottle tops or plastic bags. And please also make sure that all recycled items are clean, dry and loose when you put them in your recycling bin.

You can find out more about the changes and what items can or can’t be recycled at the Recycle for West Sussex website.

Best wishes,

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