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Swale council's £5,000 sticker plan to reduce contaminating bin loads a 'success'


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Swale council insists its decision to pay to £5,000 tell residents how to recycle has paid off.

The authority placed 120,000 stickers on bins across the borough in March in a bid to increase its green credentials.

More than 120,000 stickers were placed on bins in Swale
More than 120,000 stickers were placed on bins in Swale

The labels asked people to think about what they were putting in their blue bins and came after a number of people were found to have put dirty nappies in with cans and tins due to be recycled.

The council revealed food waste, textiles, garden trimmings and black bin bags were also found in blue bins.

If the levels of these contaminants are too high, the entire load may be rejected and everyone’s recycling on that collection round is lost.

New figures have revealed that, in the first three months of the year, 19 collections had to be rejected, while in the six months since the stickers were rolled out, only three lots have been refused.

A council spokesman said: “We’ve been placing stickers on household waste and have seen a reduction in contaminated loads being rejected by the recycling plant.

'Bin lorry loads of collected recycling are rejected from the recycling plant if the levels of contaminants are too high...'

“From April 1 to August 31 we had three loads rejected.

“Bin lorry loads of collected recycling are rejected from the recycling plant if the levels of contaminants are too high.

“This includes food waste, nappies, textiles, garden waste and black bin bags being placed in the blue recycling bins.

“We’re pleased to see residents thinking more carefully about what they put in each of their bins.”

In total, 60,000 households in Faversham, Sittingbourne and Sheppey were targeted, with each of their two bins given a sticker.

Cllr Julian Saunders says every resident can help
Cllr Julian Saunders says every resident can help

Earlier this year Cllr Julian Saunders, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Every resident can make a difference when it comes to how they dispose of their waste.

“Whether it’s washing food waste from recyclables before placing them in the blue bin, opting to start home composting or asking for a food caddy for food waste, even small changes will help us recycle and tackle climate change.

“It will also help create a circular economy where more products are re-used and recycled rather than new raw materials being used to create more waste.”

Last year 44% of the borough’s household rubbish was recycled, below the government’s 50% target. Whitehall wants that figure to be 65% by 2035.

You can find out which bins to throw things away in by using the council’s Waste Wizard. Go online at www.swale.gov.uk/waste-wizard.

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