MHDC Recycling and Waste Updates
The collection of materials for recycling in clear and purple sacks has been discontinued and replaced by a green wheelie bin which is emptied fortnightly. This has been brought about by the government's requirement to collect glass jars and bottle (but not broken sheet glass.).
Plastic bottles, metal cans, paper and thin cardboard can be recycled but not blankets, clothing and shoes which should be taken to a recycling point or possibly a charity shop.
The green sack scheme for garden waste has been discontinued. Brown wheelie bins can now be hired for a cost of about £60 per annum that are emptied fortnightly. For full information please contact the council.
Alternatively either shred or compost your garden waste or take to either Malvern or Upton waste recycling centre.
Archive - November 2007
Love food hate waste
You may be aware of the new national campaign called ‘Love food hate waste’ coordinated by the government-funded organisation WRAP.
WRAP works to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. The outcome of this should be less waste to landfill, a reduction of carbon emissions and an improvement of our environment.
The ‘Love food hate waste’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce the amount of food that we throw away and how doing so will benefit us and the environment.
A third of the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away but 90% of us just do not realise how much food we really throw away. In the UK, we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food each year and there are several reasons why this is an issue:
1. It’s a huge amount of waste going to landfill
2. It’s a significant amount of money wasted for consumers
3. Big environmental implications
The amount of food we throw away is a major contributor to the production of greenhouse gases in the UK and 20% of our climate emissions are related to the production, processing, transportation and storage of food. However, we are throwing away half of the food we buy.
There are quick and easy things we can do to reduce the amount of food we throw away. One of the main reasons for throwing away food is cooking or preparing too much or not using the food in time before the use by date.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your food waste:
1. Prepare a meal planner for the week and only buy food that you need
2. Measure out rice and pasta properly so that you do not prepare too much
3. Use left over food for meals or lunch box’s the next day (eg pasta dish’s can be great cold for lunch the next day)
4. Food can still be eaten after the ‘best before’ date; it just may not be at its best. (always use food by the ‘use by ‘date)
There is so much more you can learn about concerning food waste so we encourage you to go to the website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Archive - September 2007
This month we want to give you some insight into why we can only collect certain materials through the kerbside recycling scheme. The most common question that we receive from our residents is concerning the recycling of plastics. For example, why can’t we recycle yoghurt pots or margarine tubs?
Here is a brief summary of why we can only recycle certain plastics.
• We only collect plastic bottles – if it is plastic and bottle shaped then we can recycle it.
• Recycling plastics is very tricky. Plastics are made up from different polymers and require different reprocessing methods for each type of polymer.
• Many items of plastics packaging are made up of many different polymers and cannot be reprocessed through one method.
• Cross polymer contamination is one of the biggest problems for recyclers of plastic as it can make the product unreliable and not able to be used for its intended purpose.
• Drink bottles made from PET and milk / detergent bottles made from HDPE, are the only plastics that can be recycled effectively as they are made from ‘pure’ plastic, i.e.; all one-polymer type.
• The problem with mixed plastic collections i.e.; those including yoghurt pots, food trays etc, is that items can be made out of any one of about eight different types of plastic, combined in any way. Unfortunately, many packaging products are made up of different polymers combined together and it cannot be recycled again into another specific plastic. Furthermore, these types of plastics will contaminate other ‘purer’ plastics.
• Mixed plastics can only be recycled in countries like China. Cheap labour is used on mass to hand sort material. The working conditions are poor with inadequate ventilation and low levels of hygiene.
• Many items such as yoghurt pots bare the recycling logo and they may well be recyclable but only in China. There is a distinct difference between what is technically feasible and what is economically and environmentally desirable.
In summary, in order to ensure our sorting facilities run efficiently, our recyclables are recycled in the UK or Europe, our transport of material is kept to a minimum to reduce our carbon footprint, and to avoid supporting poor working conditions in other countries, MHDC only collect plastic bottles for recycling. As technology improves, and the opportunities to collect and recycle more plastic items in this country occurs then we will of course review our service.
Archive - August 2007
Malvern Hills District Council to represent UK in European Environment Awards
Malvern Hills District Council is on track to represent the UK in the European Business awards for the Environment. The District Council have been notified that it is among the major winners in the Green Apple Environment awards - one of the few accredited feeder schemes into the international campaign.
The Recycling Team entered an application for the award presenting the Schools Kerbside Recycling scheme and it's accompanying educational support programme for teachers. They will be presented with their Green Apple Award at the House of Commons later this year, when top winners have the chance to represent their country in the Brussels event.
The Green Apple Awards are now in their fourteenth year and attracted more than 500 nominations this year. They are organised by the Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-activist, non profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practise around the world.
Archive - July 2007
You may recall us informing you of the Teachers Resource pack, designed as an educational programme that supports our Schools Kerbside Recycling service.
We have developed a good relationship with these schools and as a result, we were able to work closely with them to monitor the amount and type of materials recycled by the schools.
The schools were asked to weigh their sacks each week and record their results over a six week period. The objective was twofold. Firstly, we wanted to research how much our schools are contributing to the amount of waste being diverted from landfill and secondly we wanted to encourage pupils to get involved in this process as part of their education on waste minimisation. As a result of these schools taking part, we were able to average the results out across all the schools across the Malvern Hills district and predict an expected tonnage of materials recycled over a one year period.
We also wanted to communicate these results back to the schools in the form of an additional teachers resource card and pupils activity card to add to their current pack. We analysed the results from the schools monitoring and turned them into 'waste to energy' fun facts. The objective here was to highlight how their small participation makes a big impact in saving energy, diverting waste to landfill and wider environmental issues resulting from recycling in their schools. The facts demonstrate impressive impacts.
For example - the paper that has been recycled through the schools over a one year period saves 56 barrels of oil - this is enough fuel to run the average car for 35,280 miles. The earth's circumference is 24,902 miles!
The hope is that pupils will take this strong message home and more families will be enthusiastic in participating in recycling using the kerbside scheme. The results of the schools monitoring research drives the message home that doing our little bit really does make a big difference!
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