16 January 2020 by James Langley

Oxfordshire launches ‘Waste Wizard’ resource

Oxfordshire county council has launched an online resource called Waste Wizard to encourage residents to recycle better.

The resource allows residents to check whether an item can be reused, repaired, donated or recycled – or whether it needs to go into a specific bin or collection to be disposed of properly.

Oxfordshire’s Waste Wizard is advertised on Twitter with retro computer game characters

Residents enter the name of any item along with their postcode to receive the information.

County councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, said: “There’s lots of different ways to get rid of waste but you only need one Waste Wizard to make sure you do the right thing.

“We have come a long way since the first thought on everyone’s mind was to put unwanted things in the bin. And even with doorstep collections for a wide range of items there’s often better things you can do.

“Thankfully the Waste Wizard has all the answers and if you are unsure at any time you can ask for some words of wisdom.”

Oxfordshire county council had a recycling rate of 58.2% in the 2018/19 financial year, considerably higher than the national household waste recycling rate of 45.1%.

A screenshot of Oxfordshire’s Waste Wizard

Confusion

The council says one of its greatest challenges is confusion over what goes in each bin.

It says the most confused materials are plastics, crisp packets, pizza boxes and coffee cups, while common items that contaminate kerbside recycling bins include textiles and disposable nappies.

The aim of Waste Wizard is to clarify what and where goods can be recycled or reused.

Social media

Described as “fun and interactive” in a council statement, Waste Wizard is to be promoted online via social media using retro-style computer game characters, as seen below.

The council hopes its launch will boost the number of items that get repaired locally, increase the number of items reused or donated, cut contamination in kerbside recycling collection bins, ensure anything that cannot be reused, repaired or donated is properly recycled and explain the responsible disposal of goods that cannot be recycled or repurposed.

Waste Wizard can be found here .

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