Residents encouraged to recycle smart

Recycling LabelRecently Ashford Borough Council (ABC) has seen an increase in the amount of unrecyclable materials being placed in recycling bins; this has resulted in some waste loads being rejected. This has an effect on Ashford’s recycling rates, costs taxpayers an additional £50 for every tonne rejected, and leaves residents confused when the crews are unable to take the recycling presented.

In order to save taxpayers’ money and continue the excellent environmental efforts of residents, helping Ashford climb even further up the DEFRA league table, they have been encouraging our residents to focus on the quality of items they are recycling.Unfortunately mistakes can happen, as seen recently in certain areas of the Borough, which has resulted in a drop in the quality of items being received at the recycling facility.

That’s why from 24th August, Biffa will be placing advisory stickers on bins which contain unrecyclable items. The sticker will say “Warning” and clearly state which incorrect material was placed in the bin so the household is aware for future collections. On this one-off occasion the bin will be emptied, however if incorrect items are found on subsequent occasions, the crew will not collect the waste and a sticker will be placed on the bin to indicate this.

When the bin is not emptied, residents will need to remove the unrecyclable items and place the uncollected waste in their refuse bin or take it to their local tip.

Additional recycling side waste will be collected by Biffa on the next recycling week if it is presented in a clear plastic bag or cardboard box.

To help residents remember which items can and can’t be placed in their green recycling bin, here are a few top tips:

  • Food waste can be reused to make compost if placed in your orange lidded caddy ready for its weekly collection. Please do not place it in your recycling bin
  • Textiles are reusable; simply place them in a carrier bag beside or on top of your green bin on recycling week. Please do not place them in your recycling bin
  • Small electrical items can be reused – please place them in a carrier bag next to your black bin for collection. Do not place electrical items in your recycling bin
  • Recyclable items should be placed loose in your recycling bin, please do not use any black sacks or plastic bags in your recycling bin.
  • If in doubt, leave it out and place it in your refuse bin. A full list of what you can place in your green recycling bin can be found on the Ashford Borough Council website at:

Any unrecyclable item has the potential to contaminate a whole load, which could represent as many as 500 households that have carefully separated the right materials for recycling. Loads which cannot be recycled are turned into renewable energy, or landfill in extreme circumstances.

Portfolio holder for Public Interaction and Borough Presentation, Cllr Clair Bell, said: “It is important now more than ever for residents to consider carefully the quality of materials they are placing in their recycling bin because otherwise there’s a chance their bin will not be emptied.

“Continuing to recycle effectively will mean we do not lose money for every tonne of waste that is rejected, and will go towards ensuring we are able to keep Ashford’s council tax the lowest in the county.

“We hope that the new stickers will help residents understand more clearly which items they can and can’t recycle, allowing us to effectively reuse much more of their waste and help maintain the fantastic recycling progress we’ve made so far.”

Ashford Borough Council 18th August 2015

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