The Partnership, which comprises Babergh District Council, East Suffolk Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk County Council, and West Suffolk Council, says more than a quarter (26%) of the materials in Suffolk’s recycling bins in 2022/23 were not able to be processed as they were spoiled.
Items that contributed to spoiled recycling collections included:
- Materials that were not clean and dry, or contained food and drink residue
- Rubbish sacks or plastic bags containing recycling
- Non-recyclable items, such as nappies and food waste
Plastic bags and rubbish sacks are a particular problem – recycling handlers can’t see what’s inside them and they are often full of rubbish or other non-recyclable items.
This means bags are removed during the sorting process to avoid spoiling other good recycling. Any removed bags are then sent for disposal.
Rob Cole, of Suffolk Waste Partnership, said:
“We know from previous research that 73% of Suffolk residents are concerned about the environment and most people want to get their recycling right*.
“Our Shake It Out campaign aims to help residents better understand their recycling services and ensure items are clean, dry and loose when they are placed in their recycling bins.
“We appreciate that some households may collect their recycling in plastic bags, to make it easy to carry out. This great work can be wasted if recycling is then added to your wheelie bin in a plastic bag.
“We’re urging all Suffolk residents to make sure any plastic bags used to collect recycling are shaken out into the recycling bin.”
The Suffolk Waste Partnership has also released a new animation as part of the wider campaign to promote the #ShakeItOut message.
The animation aims to remind households across the country of the simple measures they can take to help improve recycling: https://youtu.be/iBKOUFWxXdQ
To find out more about the #ShakeItOut campaign and for more information on recycling in Suffolk, visit www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk/shake-it-out