A new campaign aims to highlight that the average Lancashire household could recycle 50% more if everyone always put the right thing in the right bin.
People in Lancashire are quite good at recycling, with every property producing 4.2k of recycling a week, but we could potentially recycle another 2.1k, equivalent to every household saving around another 13 aluminium cans, 2 wine bottles, 4 big plastic pop bottles, and 4 newspapers.
And many of the extra items that could be recycled are also found outside the kitchen, with people being asked to increase their effort to recycle more things like aerosols, small glass bottles, and packaging from the bathroom and bedroom.
It could result in another 50,000 tonnes of recycling a year, adding to the 100,000 tonnes currently collected at the doorstep, and 50,000 tonnes collected at household waste recycling centres.
It could also save up to £4m a year which could be spent on other vital public services.
The campaign, launched during Recycle Week (24 – 30 September 2018), is being led on social media using a short animation to illustrate how much more we could recycle. You can see it at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.
County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader for Lancashire County Council with responsibility for waste, said: “Most people are pretty good at recycling and it’s just part of our normal routine, but there’s still a significant proportion of things which could be recycled which are being wasted and going straight to landfill because they’ve been put in the wrong bin.
“Our new campaign seeks to highlight the size of that missing mountain of recycling, and the potential we all have to make a significant difference by making a little extra effort.
“Most of us are in the habit of recycling in the kitchen as that’s where we have room for separate recycling bins, but most of us are still missing some recyclable items. And nearly 4 in 10 people say they don’t always recycle bathroom items.
“So much from elsewhere in the house can be recycled – plastic shower gel and shampoo bottles, spray cleaner and bleach bottles, aerosol cans, and cardboard toothpaste boxes and toilet roll tubes. If more people recycled these things it could really make a difference and take Lancashire’s recycling rates to the next level.
“There are some very simple things we can do to make it easy to recycle upstairs. These include hanging a bag on the bathroom door or putting items in a cupboard or drawer until there’s enough to take to the recycling bin. You could also repurpose a nice box or basket to collect your empties, get a small bathroom recycling bin, or simply leave them on the landing and take them to the main recycling bin next time you’re passing.”