Get your Recycling Right

A campaign has been launched by the Suffolk Waste Partnership to highlight the importance of people getting their recycling right.

This campaign sees a leaflet being sent out to every household in Suffolk to highlight what can and can’t go in your recycling bin, which aims to serve as a reminder – and a new video is also be available online to further highlight the issues.

In Suffolk more than half of our household waste is recycled, but contamination levels have been rising as people increasingly put unsuitable items in their kerbside recycling bins. These items are potentially dangerous, can have a negative impact on the environment and ultimately cost the taxpayer extra money to clean up.

All recyclable waste collected from Suffolk households is taken to the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Great Blakenham, where it is sorted and baled before being sent on for recycling. This facility is designed to only accept and process certain materials. If the wrong items are delivered they have to be removed, sometimes by hand.

To ensure the correct items are put into their recycling bins, residents across the county are being asked to remember the following points to combat contamination:

  • Textiles and clothes can no longer go in the recycling bin, either bagged or loose. Instead people are asked to donate their clothing to charity shops, or to take it to their nearest recycling banks.
  • Anything smaller than 4cm, such as loose bottle tops or shredded paper, won’t get recycled they fall through the sorting process. However, bottle tops can be recycled by simply washing and squashing plastic bottles and putting the tops back on.
  • Aluminium foil needs to be rolled into a tennis ball size before being placed in the recycling bin.
  • Food waste, glass, electrical items, and batteries are just some of the common contaminants found. These items can’t go in your recycling bin at home but they can be recycled elsewhere. Information on where they can be recycled are in the leaflet and online.
  • Some people are even putting used nappies in their recycling bins. These must always go in the rubbish bin.

Cllr Clive Arthey, chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said: “While it is great that we are recycling more than half of our household waste here in Suffolk, this campaign will hopefully help us improve the quality of Suffolk’s recyclable material and save taxpayers money.

“For example, 1,500 nappies are picked by hand from people’s recycling every day. This is a horrible job and spoils the other recyclables, costing both time and money to sort out. If you follow the advice in the leaflet and on our website and only put the correct items in your recycling bin, we can improve the quality of recyclables going to the MRF and will be able to recycle even more.

“Textiles and items of clothing are no longer being accepted in the recycling bins and we would ask people to take unwanted textiles to a charity shop, a recycling bank or their nearest Recycling Centre.”

More information can be found on the Suffolk Recycling website at:

By Mike Ager on November 20th, 2016

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