Recycling bosses are urging residents to think responsibly when it comes to household spring cleaning.
Rates of recycling are slowly edging in the right direction with year-on-year improvements, but with Spring edging closer and residents in the mood for a clean-up, Hartlepool-based J&B Recycling hopes people will show a responsible attitude when it comes to getting rid of their unwanted items.
Commercial manager Mark Penny said: “The light nights are coming, so this is traditionally the time of year when people get in their gardens and lofts to have a bit of a clear out in time for summer.
“We can see all sorts of things coming through kerbside collections for sorting at this time of years such as, garden furniture, childrens’ toys, unwanted garden chemicals and other general waste.
“People will also have a clear out in their wardrobes too, getting rid of the winter clothes in the hope of some decent weather. It all creates more waste that needs to be recycled.
“When it comes to recycling people tend to fall into one of three gropus.
“The first group do it right. They have listened to all of the advice, they understand what goes where and they have a responsible attitude towards waste.
“The second group of people have good intentions, but make regular mistakes. They might think they are doing the right thing, but lots of their waste will be mixed up with other materials in the incorrect container.
“The third group are the ones who blatantly don’t care, and show a total disregard to recycling. They will use the general waste and if that it’s full or they use the recycling bin for general waste.
“They also often hide general waste in the recycling bin to give them extra capacity and to buck the system.”
Councils operate Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) that residents can take both recyclables and waste to if they don’t have enough room in their wheelie bins.
The UK recycling rate for waste generated in households was 44.9% in 2014, a slight rise from the previous year when it was 44.1%.
With those figures having increased from slightly over 40% in 2010, there is an EU target of 50% for 2020.
Mark believes that target is achievable – but only if people start to take notice of the advice pushed out by various agencies.
He added: “While we are making good progress in terms of recycling rates in this country, there are still too many people who haven’t grasped it.
“You hear people say ‘we pay the council to take our rubbish’, there is a real attitude of ‘why should I?’.
“This doesn’t just apply to householders, it’s also a problem with commercial collections too where businesses contaminate the recyclables they put out for collection. This could be down to lack of supervision or understanding or cheating.
“There is a constant stream of advice available to people, whether it is displayed on the bin, on a website, or printed on packaging so there is no real excuse.
“If people are planning on a clear out this Spring, I’d encourage them to recycle responsibly in their kerbside containers and also to use the Bring Sites or local authority sites (HWRC) where waste of all natures can be properly recycled.”
J&B Recycling employs almost 200 staff and recycles approximately 120,000 tonnes of waste each year from household, commercial, industrial and construction sources with commercial customers including car parts manufacturer Nifco UK, Camerons Brewery and thousands of community buildings, pubs and restaurants.