Recycle for Greater Manchester has teamed up with Salford city council on a campaign to target unwanted materials ending up in the recycling.
According to Recycle for Greater Manchester – the public facing brand of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) – wrong items (contaminants) are frequently found in Salford residents’ blue paper and card bins.
Dirty nappies, wet wipes, leftover food, electrical items, polystyrene packaging, plastic bags and tablet blister packs among some of the main offenders, the authority reports.
This high level of unwanted items has led to the rejection of “tonnes of paper and card” collected for recycling. Since the beginning of the year, several bin lorries have been turned away from GMCA’s recycling site at Trafford Park.
To kick start the campaign, Recycle for Greater Manchester recently talked to Salford Councillors about the scale of the problem – and the importance of making sure that good recycling does not go to waste.
The new campaign aims to encourage residents to think carefully about what should go into blue paper and card bins. A ‘What’s in the Box?’message reminds people to empty their cardboard boxes before they recycle them.
Informative leaflets will be delivered to 86,000 homes, along with stickers on residents’ bins and supporting advertising and social media activity. The Recycle for Greater Manchester campaign’s team will also be attending a number of local community and business events over the next few months to continue to spread the message about what can be recycled.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety at Salford City council, said: “Just taking the time to empty any cardboard boxes and remove any packaging, electrical items, or any leftover food will make a big difference.
“Cardboard boxes, card packaging, paper and shredded paper, magazines and catalogues, newspapers, books, envelopes and mail, junk mail, greetings cards and wrapping paper are the only things that should be placed in the blue paper and card bin.”
He continued: “We all have a part to play in making sure that our recycling efforts aren’t wasted and we’re confident that our residents will get behind the new campaign and help us collect more paper and card that can be recycled.”
Councillor Alex Ganotis, Greater Manchester’s Green City Region lead added: “Contamination in Greater Manchester’s paper and card recycling bins has always been a problem, but recently we’re facing increasing challenges.
“In January, tough new quality standards in the paper and card recycling market were introduced, and this means that we have to collect as much clean paper and card as possible.
“People often think that it doesn’t matter if wrong items get mixed up with their recycling and that they will all get removed later. This isn’t the case – it’s almost impossible to remove most of the contaminants because there isn’t a mechanical process available to remove things like dirty nappies and electrical items. They have to be handpicked from a conveyor which means not all of these items can be removed.”
Currently residents in Salford receive a blue bin for paper and cardboard; a brown bin for glass, plastic, and metals; and a pink lidded bin for garden and food waste. Residual waste is collected every three weeks, with collections carried out by an in-house team. The council reported a recycling rate of 44.9% for 2016/17.
Recycle for Greater Manchester is the public facing brand of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority waste & resource team. It works with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford to encourage residents to manage their waste responsibly.
GMCA – made up of the 10 local authorities – holds statutory powers for waste disposal in the area.
13th November 2018, Pinsent Masons