Our planet has limited resources; but much of our waste is actually a resource. Nearly 50% of our waste in the UK is recycled, but we can still do more. Over 10m tonnes of waste are landfilled in the UK every year, and more goes overseas. Landfill is the worst-case scenario for waste - here's how, and why, we can and should make sure as little as possible of our household waste goes down this harmful route.
What can we recycle?
Cans, paper, cardboard, glass and plastic can all be recycled to produce raw material. They have value, and will have a new life. The cleaner they are when they are put into the recycling, the better it is, and the more value they have. Purity is key to efficient recycling, so the more we can clean and separate, the more our waste isn't rubbish at all.
- 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials
- Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks
- £36m worth of aluminium is thrown away each year
- Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again, but glass that ends up in landfill will never decompose
- Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials. It takes 24 trees to make 1 tonne of newspaper
- 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that's about 15 million bottles per day. Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose
The most difficult material to recycle is plastic. Many products have different types of plastic in the same product, some have plastic film, some have metal, but specialist recycling plants can deal with these products by removing the variation and preparing it for re-manufacture.
Trickier to recycle are Tetrapaks, and products where plastic is combined with cardboard.
What happens to the dreaded black bin?
The contents of our black bins should contain only waste that can't be recycled. There are two main destinations for non-recyclable waste - landfill or incineration. Landfill requires large quantities of space, and is associated with problems such as the production of leachate which pollutes groundwater, and the production of methane, a greenhouse gas. The alternative is incineration, but this comes with a complicated set of problems and is no way ideal.
Keeping the contents of our black bins to an absolute minimum by ensuring everything that can be recycled is sent to the correct place is an effective way of protecting the planet and our environment.
How we can help you help:
Streetwise Environmental in conjunction with Rushcliffe Borough Council encourages recycling throughout the borough.
What are Streetwise doing to look after the environment?
- We provide approximately 66 colour segregated glass bins which are available at a range of sites across the borough including one located at the end of the drive way at Abbey Road Depot which residents are able to access.
- We provide textile bins at approximately 30 sites across the borough
- Tetrapaks can't be included with the normal paper recycling as it contains aluminium and polyethylene. That's why we provide around 30 Tetrapak recycling sites around the Borough. Rushcliffe Borough Council offer kerbside collections using the 'Blue Bin' for paper, card, food and drink cans, plastic tubs, pots, and bottles; and 'Green Bin' for green waste including grass cuttings, hedge clippings, weeds, leaves and bark.
We have an environmental policy which we adhere to at all times. We recognise the effect of our operations on the environment and the influence it can have on the community through our actions. We undertake to promote an environment compatible with healthy, balanced life styles where the whole community plays its part in environmental protection and improvement.
We carry this out by:
- Ensuring our operations meet or exceed all statutory environmental requirements.
- Encouraging others in the community to reduce their negative impact on the environment through information, education and publicity - we provide the recycling centres and encourage residents to recycle their waste properly in the bins provide by Rushcliffe Borough Council.
- Identifying areas of concern and seeking improvements by introducing new machinery, better working practises and working with other interested parties.
- Carrying out periodic reviews of its own policies and actions and seeking continual improvement.
- Striving to provide, the highest quality and most efficient services possible as appropriate.
When carrying out quote collections for residents, we recycle as much as possible. Our bays within the depot ensures that everything that can be recycled is recycled.
Our tree team chip all green waste and create chippings which we can donate to local parish councils for their parks and open spaces. We also compost waste on our allotment where possible and use this to feed the plants in our allotment.
Last year, together with RBC, we collected 2,300 tonnes of glass and 116 tonnes of paper and
Further information about recycling facilities in Rushcliffe Borough Council can be found here
The Streetwise Team