Don’t waste your recycling efforts

Liverpool people are being urged not to let waste intended for recycling end up in landfill sites because inappropriate types of material is put in bins.

Putting material in plastic bags in blue bins mean that it will not be recycled as recyclable materials need to be loose in the blue bin or box. If these items are in plastic bags it makes it difficult for them to be sorted and recycled.

The facility in Liverpool, where the recyclables are sent, sorts and separates paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans. It uses conveyors that carry the recyclables over sorting screens, passing them over rollers, magnetic and eddy current separators and other recognition equipment.

And green bins will be “contaminated” if plastic plant pots and trays, used soil and branches over three inches in diameter are placed in them

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “A Keep Britain Tidy survey in the city showed that people want to recycle – only 1% said they did not believe in the principle of recycling.

“However, while many people believe they are recycling and are well-intentioned, if they put plastic bags in their blue bins then its contents will just end up in landfill because of the problems they cause with the recycling facility.

“And, as spring approaches, we tend to have a problem with people getting back into the garden and putting plant pots and other inappropriate waste in green bins. While we welcome them using the green bins rather than putting garden waste in with the general waste we would ask them to make sure they know what can be put in green bins.

“Currently ,we recycle about a third of our waste but we are looking to push this up to 55% by 2020- not only is it environmentally responsible but if we fail to reach targets we face substantial financial penalties.”

Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins, chair of the neighbourhood services select committee, added; “The introduction a 5p charge for plastic bins has had a real impact with the number found in blue bins down by more than 50%

“But the latest figure shows that there were still nearly 300 bins in the city which had recyclable material in plastic bags in them.

“With the cooperation of householders we can get that number down a lot more and boost our recycling rate. More than 60% of what gets thrown out can be recycled, with much of it able to go in the blue and green bins. And  there are other ways to recycle items. The recycling centres at Otterspool and Old Swan  will take Tetrapaks for example, vegetable peelings can be put in a composter, charity shops will take clothes and shoesand Bulky Bobs will collect small electrical items and will also collect textiles if they accompany a bulky item collection.”

Information about what material can go into green and blue bins is available at http://liverpool.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/what-goes-in-my-bins/