Recycling made easier
Release date: Tuesday 25th September 12
Residents are to get clearer information on what they can put in orange recycling banks.
The council provides 3,000 large, orange-lidded communal recycling banks. Since they were introduced eight years ago, many of the stickers on the side that say what can be recycled have become damaged, and are now out of date.
Many more materials, such as food cartons and plastic pots, can now be recycled, and the stickers that can still be read do not reflect this.
Recycle for London have funded new stickers so that residents know exactly what they can put in the banks. They also use the nationally-recognised standard icons for the different materials.
The council's keen to clarify what can and can't go in the orange banks and sacks. Last year the typical household that uses communal banks, in flats and on estates, recycled 142 kg in them. This compares to 210kg for households that recycled using the orange sack service.
There is also a greater level of contamination - 23 per cent, compared to 18 per cent in the sacks.
The only things that should be recycled in orange bags or banks are:
- Paper and card/cardboard (excluding shredded paper)
- Glass bottles and jars
- Plastic bottles, pots tubs and trays
- Cans, tins and empty aerosols
- Food/drinks cartons (e.g. TetraPaks)
Food residue should be rinsed off before recycling and lids should be removed from bottles. Get full details of what can and can't be recycled at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/recyclefromhome.
Anything else included is 'contamination' which has to be sorted out and then disposed off at the energy from waste plant at Belvedere in Bexley.
Recent analysis of samples taken from orange recycling sacks and banks has found that the main contaminants are:
- General rubbish
- Food waste (often stuck to cans and plastic trays)
- Other plastics (such as carrier bags, cling film and plastic toys)
- Textiles (such as old clothes)
- Shredded paper
- Electrical items
Last year the council had to spend £11m disposing of the borough's waste. Every one per cent reduction in contamination will save council tax payers more than £21,000 a year. From October, the council will have to pay twice for any 'contaminated' recycling - firstly to sort it out and then to dispose of it along with other general rubbish.
Environment and Culture spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
"Hopefully clearer information on orange banks will make it easier for residents using them to recycle correctly. We need to reduce the level of contamination or the council will be hit with huge charges from October.
We are fine-tuning our waste and recycling systems to make sure they work as effectively as possible: we no longer send rubbish to landfill, we've got brand new waste and recycling facilities at Smugglers Way , and what is not recycled is sent to the energy-from-waste plant at Belvedere to produce energy for the national grid.
"Bt the process starts at home. We need residents to reduce the amount of waste they produce and ensure that their recycling is properly sorted so that only the correct items go in orange bags and banks. This will keep costs down and council tax low."
For more information contact the Wandsworth Council press team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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3000 banks?? i have never seen one where are they why has balham library stopped handing out orange sacks?? we domestically put out 5/6 bags on a monday morning so need 30 bags a month, we have approx 20 newspapers aweek and 20 plus bottles. everything gets recycled your comments please.roger griffiths, Tooting
25 September 2012
Planners should make developers show how any domestic refuse will be catered for in any property that passes through their files AND check that the bin stores are installed. Locally bags are just dumped on the pavements outside multiple occupancy properties - days before the collections - because the flats have no facilities for them. It must be costing us all more in clear up costs than WBC would ever admit?Celia Blair, Earlsfield
26 September 2012
It is unclear whether the lids of plastic tubs can be included in the recycling. They are usually of identical material to the tub so perhaps it is a question of size (although some are quite large). Some boroughs, such as Southwark, do allow them in their recycling, Could this be clarified, please?John Rattray, Balham
26 September 2012
More information on the recycling of bottle tops is available here http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/faqs/faq/565/can_i_recycle_bottle_tops#a565Wandsworth Council, Location not given
26 September 2012
We haven't been able to recycle for two months as we are never left any bags, have had no response to email requests and we can no longer pick bags up at the library. If people that are keen to recycle can't, then the council are surely failing to encourage other people to change habits.Sam, Location not given
13 December 2012
I feel it just needs the extra comment about 90 bags given out every year to households who recycle. Otherwise grood article.Sylvia szeliga, Tooting
11 February 2013