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Recycle the unrecyclable at your local swimming pool!

Wiltshire residents are being encouraged to recycle their previously unrecyclable pool accessories such as goggles and armbands, in an innovative way at swimming pools across the county.

Published 6 March 2023
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Wiltshire residents are being encouraged to recycle their previously unrecyclable pool accessories such as goggles and armbands, in an innovative way at swimming pools across the county.

It is estimated that the average pool will generate roughly 15KG of waste every two to three months. With the installation of reusable 100 litre recycle points, pool equipment and accessories that would normally have been sent to UK landfills, can now be collected, recycled and reused into new products.

The Leisure Loop Recycling Scheme is now in place at four swimming pools across Wiltshire (Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre in Salisbury, the Olympiad Leisure Centre in Chippenham, Trowbridge Sports Centre and The Vale Community Campus in Pewsey), meaning that local residents can visit the centre to recycle used pool related objects such as flip flops, goggles, floats, armbands, kickboards, pull buoys and swim caps.

Once collected, the items are sorted and separated into material type (foam or plastic) and then into colour. The material is then shredded into tiny pieces and washed to create a new raw material. This raw material is then used to create new products for the industry such as flip flops - thus closing the 'leisure loop'.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: Swimming pools generate a large amount of pool waste, whether it's broken goggles, punctured arm bands or used floats and pull buoys. Historically we have not been able to recycle these items, but by using the Leisure Loop Recycling Scheme people can get rid of their old, unused pool waste and help to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill.

In Wiltshire, a key business plan priority of ours is to increase our recycling and reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill, so this new scheme is a great way to achieve this goal, with the added bonus that discarded items are being transformed into great new and unique products.

For more information on swimming and other activities at Wiltshire Council leisure centres, people should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure.

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