Recycling Roundup 7th August


Birmingham city council is sending tonnes of recycling to landfill to clear rubbish from the streets of the city. The industrial dispute between the council and refuse collectors has entered its fourth week, and the streets are full of rubbish bags and overflowing wheelie bins.

The council have been forced to mix recycling with general waste, and it’s being sent to landfill.

Critics have said that residents take the time and effort to sort their recycling, and that many of them are disillusioned with council waste collection services.

The council insist that sending recycling to landfill is a temporary measure, just to clear the streets.

 birmingham city council

Campaigns in Manchester and London to promote the recycling of high-street paper coffee cups have proven a success, and more than 1.2 million cups have been recycled as a result.

The cups have been recycled and made into bird feeders, plant pot holders and chalk boards, among other things.

The ‘1 More Shot’ campaign in Manchester collected 30,000 cups between October and February, and the success of this campaign saw it extend to London in April, where over 1 million cups were collected in the ‘Square Mile Challenge’.

The campaigns seem to have changed consumer behaviour, and this has not gone unnoticed, as now manufacturers and retailers in Germany are considering a trial. Campaigns are being considered in Cologne and Munich.

The Mayor of London’s environmental team will use the statistics from the trial to form the basis of a new strategy to reduce litter and improve waste management.

The Manchester campaign had a target of recycling 20,000 cups rather than sending them to landfill, and the campaign was supported by coffee giants such as Costa and Caffe Nero.

The Square Mile Challenge in London was supported by Marks & Spencer and coffee cup manufacturers.

The issue of recycling coffee cups was raised after a high-profile campaign run by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, where he highlighted that 5,000 coffee cups are discarded every minute in the UK, and less than 1% of these are recycled.

This led to the big coffee chains implementing initiatives to recycle more cups. Costa launched an in-house cup recycling scheme in over 2,000 of its stores across the UK. They also put a ‘tidy man’ logo on their cups to encourage customers to dispose of their cups responsibly.

Starbucks soon followed by introducing in-store paper cup recycling bins. They also offered discounts of up to 50p for customers who brought in their own cups.

 1 more shot

A report has highlighted the problem of contamination in the waste being sent to Scotland’s recovery facilities, and it’s seriously hindering the potential to recycle as many items as possible. The report noted that of over 327,000 tonnes of waste that was sent to recovery facilities, anything up to 43% was not recyclable due to contamination.

The report highlighted that contamination needs to be reduced and that correct treatment of waste needs to be a priority. Adequate infrastructure is needed too.

Scotland is recycling more than ever overall, but at a time when budgets are being cut and the authorities are trying to reduce wastage across the board, the country cannot really afford to lose precious raw materials and waste energy.

Zero Waste Scotland say that recycling and waste management is everyone’s responsibility and that improvements need to be made at each stage of a product’s journey, from developing raw materials, design, manufacturing, consumption, and recycling and recovery.

The country has a target of 70% recycling to achieve by 2025, but the problem of contaminated waste will have to be dealt with to allow this to happen.

Much of the contamination is due to people still not really knowing how and if they can recycle certain items. The report highlighted how packaging labels can be confusing for people, and in some cases, that there was a complete lack of information given to consumers. 

zero waste