Telford residents urged to separate rubbish as half of recyclable waste thrown away

Residents are being urged to take care with their waste after bin collectors in Telford found around half of rubbish could have been recycled.

Contractor Veolia collects bins in Telford and Shropshire
Contractor Veolia collects bins in Telford and Shropshire

Bin contractors Veolia found that just over 50 per cent of rubbish in a sample taken from the borough's red top bins could have been recycled.

Overall recycling rates have increased in Telford, but Veolia, which also collects rubbish in the Shropshire Council area, is calling on residents to recycle even more.

The annual results table published by Defra released in March showed 47 per cent of household waste was recycled in the Telford and Wrekin borough in 2019/20, up 2.2 per cent on the previous year, and 3.2 per cent better than the national average of 43.8 per cent.

While the increase was welcomed by local councillors and Veolia, both suggested more can be done to improve the amount households are recycling.

Veolia’s sample analysis consisted of 34 per cent food waste; nine per cent paper and card; six per cent plastics, tins and glass; three per cent textiles; 0.2 per cent batteries and bulbs and 0.6 per cent garden waste.

Veolia and Telford & Wrekin Council are encouraging residents to make better use of their purple-top bin, their blue bag and, particularly, their food caddies.

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Steve Mitchell, regional director for Veolia, said: “We have been thrilled with the way the new food waste service was introduced and the support we received from the local community. This analysis shows we still have a great deal more work to do to ensure these valuable materials end up in the correct container, so we can continue to preserve our world's natural resources.

“The food waste that we found in the red-top bins could have been recycled and gone on to create enough energy to boil a kettle nearly 22,000 times.

"It would also have produced nearly 8,000 tonnes of fertiliser to restore farmland, as well as avoiding nearly 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“I urge anyone who is unsure of how to use their recycling service to visit Telford & Wrekin Council’s web pages for guidance.”

Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “The increase in our recycling rate is great news, but the results of Veolia’s analysis show there’s still a lot more we can all do by making better use of our kerbside recycling collections. As well as benefitting our planet, recycling brings the disposal costs down, which reduces pressure on budgets. The money saved helps us to protect other frontline services that our residents need."

Councillor Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, added: “Reducing waste and recycling more is part of our journey to becoming carbon neutral. We can all do our bit to help protect our planet, whether it’s buying less at the weekly shop, ensuring we eat what we have bought, composting when we can and recycling any food waste in our weekly food collection.”

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