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Recycling - let's sort it: Wiltshire Council launches new campaign to increase recycling and reduce contamination

Wiltshire Council is launching a new awareness campaign to provide people with more information about what can and can't be recycled using its kerbside collection services, and how to correctly dispose of potentially hazardous items.

Published 8 February 2023
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Wiltshire Council is launching a new awareness campaign to provide people with more information about what can and can't be recycled using its kerbside collection services, and how to correctly dispose of potentially hazardous items.

The council's campaign, called 'Recycling - let's sort it!' aims to improve recycling rates and reduce contamination. This follows an increase in items that can't be recycled through the council's kerbside scheme being put in blue-lidded bins.

The campaign also looks to raise awareness of how to dispose of potentially hazardous items safely, following a recent explosion at a waste facility in Wiltshire caused by a partially full aerosol can that had been placed in the recycling bin.

Waste crews will be stepping up their visual checks of recycling bins from Monday 13 February and will advise residents if their bins cannot be emptied due to the wrong items being place in the recycling bin. From Monday 20 February, they will attach an amber hanger to any contaminated bins they come across. This hanger will advise people that their blue-lidded bin had the wrong items in it, but it will still be emptied on that collection.

Then, from Monday 6 March, crews will begin rejecting more heavily contaminated bins and will attach a red hanger that explains why the bin has not been emptied. In these cases, residents will need to remove the contamination ready for their next scheduled collection.

Cllr Nick Holder, Cabinet Member for Waste, said: It's really important that people put the right things into their blue-lidded recycling bins, or it may not be recycled. We know that people are keen to do their bit, but some of what is put in blue-lidded bins cannot be recycled and these items are then contaminating items that could have been recycled.

We really need people to check what they chuck, as this helps to protect the environment, which is a key aim of our Business Plan, and increased recycling also helps to generate income for the council, which we can invest into vital services.

Most of the general waste we collect from households does not go to landfill but is sent to waste treatment facilities where it helps generate energy, so putting items that are not suitable for the blue-lidded recycling bin in the general waste bin still has an environmental benefit.

We hope this campaign will help to inform and educate people so their good efforts and intentions do not go to waste. With everyone's support to help improve recycling, we can sort it.

Some of the common items incorrectly placed in blue lidded bins include:

  • Carrier bags and bin bags - put these in the general waste bin for energy recovery.
  • Hard plastics, such as toys and plant pots - take these to a household recycling centre for recycling; or put in the general waste bin for energy recovery.
  • Scrap metals - take these to a household recycling centre for recycling.
  • Nappies - put these in the general waste bin for energy recovery.

Items such as plastic carrier bags, which cannot be recycled at the kerbside, get wrapped around conveyor belts at the sorting facility, which can damage the equipment.

Details of what can be recycled in the blue-lidded kerbside recycling bins can be found at: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/recycling

Details of what can be placed in general household waste bins can be found at: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/household-waste

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