Welcome to Suffolk Recycles Spring ezine with our latest news and campaigns to help you get your recycling right. Meet our friendly Ted who's here to remind us that disposable nappies can never be recycled, plus a chance to win a fabulous prize by sending in your best food saving tip from this year...and much more! Please forward this email on to your friends, relatives and other contacts to sign up for our updates. You can follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram too!
Together we can get our recycling right The ‘Together we can get our Recycling Right’ campaign, launched on the 25 Jan, is designed to help people put the right things in their recycling bin and by now you should have received your leaflet at home.
With more than 10,000 tonnes (about 20%) of recycling from Suffolk homes being rejected due to the wrong items being placed in Suffolk’s recycling bins, it has never been more important to get it right. The cost of sorting and disposing of this spoiled recycling is costing Suffolk taxpayers more than £1million a year.
Recycling is one of the easiest things we can all do to play our part in reducing carbon emissions and cutting down on waste but during the pandemic we have seen an increase in the wrong items being recycled. Our crews and staff at the recycling sorting centre have been working hard to maintain front line services and we can all help to make their jobs easier in these difficult times by making sure we get our recycling right .
Glass, black bags and food waste are amongst the worst ‘baddies’ so you will make a big difference by following these three simple steps:
Put glass in a bottle bank, not in your recycling bin
No black sacks or bagged items in recycling and keep recycling empty, clean and dry
Keep all food out of your recycling bin and put any food you cannot eat or compost in your rubbish bin.
We’ve joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and other local authorities across the country to launch a new campaign aimed at stopping the thousands of disposable nappies that are spoiling Suffolk’s recycling. The campaign is fronted by ‘Ted’ and will be appearing on billboards around the county, on our website and social media channels. We are also asking people across Suffolk to help out and spread the important message!
Disposable nappies should always be placed in your rubbish bin, NEVER in your recycling bin! Research by Keep Britain Tidy showed that 7% of nappy users wrongly put nappies in their recycling bin and many are misled by the labelling on nappy packaging. Around 150 tonnes of used nappies end up in Suffolk recycling bins each year. This equates to approximately 3000 nappies needing to be removed from the recycling every day the recycling sorting facility is in operation. Read more here: https://suffolkrecycling.org.uk/news/nappies-are-not-recycling
Has locked down unlocked your Food Savvy?
Lockdown has certainly changed the way we live, and it’s changed the way we eat too! 90% of us have changed our food habits and 35% have cut food waste during lockdown. We want to help these good habits stick to help reduce Suffolk’s food waste. Got a food saving lesson to share? Head to www.foodsavvy.org.uk/foodsavvy-unlocked to get involved.
There is a chance to win £100 of kitchen treats including a £50 shopping voucher and a fab food saving kit! The competition is open to all Suffolk and Norfolk residents and closes 9am 31st March.
The street that saved!
We are also looking for a Suffolk street or community that would like to take part in a collective challenge to cut down on food waste, so please email Eleanor.Redgrave@suffolk.gov.uk if you think your street or community might be interested in getting involved.
Green Waste at Recycling Centres
Have you ever wondered what happens to the green waste that you bring to recycling centres?... well look no further! Sarah, the new Recycling Centre information and education manager at Suffolk’s recycling centres shares the story of her visit to Red Lodge. Green waste from the 11 recycling centres across Suffolk, plus the kerbside brown bins from West Suffolk, is taken to Red Lodge Transfer Station, near Bury St Edmunds, to begin the surprisingly swift process to become safe and useable compost. The green waste is taken off the lorry and fed into a shredder which mixes and cuts it into smaller pieces. Any unwanted plastic mixed up in the green waste can be removed at this stage. The shredded green waste is then made into massive piles, called windrows, which can be 4 to 5 metres high (about the height of a double decker bus!). It stays in these rows for at least 6 weeks and as the green waste starts to decompose, the inside of these piles gets really hot (up to 80°C or more). The heat kills the bacteria and encourages the breakdown of the material into compost. The temperature of the windrows should not dip below 55°C, otherwise the bacteria won’t die and the process will have to start all over again. After this, the compost from the windrows is placed into a Trommel Screener (a big rotating machine shown above). This machine sorts material by size and any larger pieces, which haven’t broken down into the now nice earthy compost, can be returned to the process. A large part of the compost is used as a soil improver on Suffolk farms. So, there you have it, the amazing journey from green waste on our recycling centres to a useable product that helps our county to grow its own food. Composting at Home
With Spring on its way and the prospect of garden clippings and grass cuttings is on your mind you may want to check out our home composting offers
Face Coverings and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
As Covid restrictions continue we need to carry on using our face coverings when visiting shops and public places or at work.
The costs of disposable face coverings can of course mount up – not only the cost to your pocket but also the environmental cost of the loss of resources resulting from their disposal. “Disposable” face coverings cannot be recycled and should be placed in general rubbish bins and not allowed to escape into the environment as litter.
Whilst PPE litter was not considered a big issue pre-Covid, volunteer surveys as part of the Great British Beach Clean in September 2020 found PPE littering at 30% of beaches and 69% of inland sites surveyed. You will undoubtedly have seen discarded masks and gloves littered across our towns and countryside when you are taking your daily exercise.
So if you’re not already in the habit of using a washable face covering, why not give it a try? Many outlets supply stylish reusable masks and for a personal touch you could even make your own from repurposed fabrics. Instructions for making face coverings are available from a range of sources including the Government website: How to make a cloth face covering - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk); The Big Community Sew has instructions for a shaped face covering as well as lots of video tutorials to choose from: The Big Community Sew; and if you don’t like sewing then there’s even an instruction video for making a face covering without any sewing required, that can be made in just a couple of minutes: How to Make No-Sew Bandana Face Mask for Coronavirus (countryliving.com)
Update on Foxhall and Haverhill Recycling Centre Development
Foxhall Recycling Centre
Planning approval has now been received for the development of an expanded and improved recycling centre on Foxhall Road, Ipswich. We are currently working on a phased construction plan to ensure that the site can remain open as much as possible throughout the build which will commence Summer/Autumn 2021. The new site will see reduced queuing on the highway, remove the need for steps to access the containers and keep operational vehicles separate from recycling centre customers.
Haverhill Recycling Centre
An online public consultation has been completed regarding the development and of a new recycling centre at Homefield Road, Haverhill and will be co-located with the waste transfer station there. We received very positive feedback and the planning application should be submitted by Summer 2021. If approved, this new site will replace the current recycling centre off Chalkstone Way. The proposed new site will see reduced queuing on the highway, remove the need for steps to access the containers and keep operational vehicles separate from recycling centre customers.
A Final Word from the Suffolk Waste Partnership Chair – Cllr James Mallinder
It’s great that Spring is just around the corner and hopefully, after what seems like a long winter, we’ll all be able to enjoy some sunny weather soon.
As we venture outside into our gardens, I’m pleased to see this edition covering garden waste. As well as being able to take your grass and hedge clippings to Suffolk’s Recycling Centres, don’t forget the Suffolk Waste Partnership also runs a scheme providing subsidised compost bins. Composting at home is a great way to deal with organic materials, not only from your garden but also raw foods such as fruit, veg peeling and coffee grounds. The scheme also has offers for food digesters which can deal with cooked foods, meat and dairy too! Details can be found on our website – www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk
I’d also like to echo the messages around recycling bins. Nearly everyone I talk to believes that recycling is a positive way of protecting our environment, but sadly we are seeing an increasing amount of the wrong things ending up in household recycling bins. We need to stop items like glass, plastic bags, food, Tetra Paks and textiles ending up in the recycling. We even get used nappies in the recycling and picking those out is a truly horrible job. Any help you can give getting these messages out to your family, friends and neighbours would be a massive help and much appreciated.
And finally, if you are out and about enjoying our wonderfully diverse landscapes in a Covid safe and compliant way, please make sure any litter is placed in a bin or is taken home. Litter is a needless blight on our countryside which I’m sure we’d all like to see stopped.