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Statement in response to reports about Medway Council's recycling record.

Date: 22/12/2008           Category: Waste and Recycling

An article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph inaccurately reported on the way Medway Council recycles waste. Here is a response from Medway Council's Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, Cllr Phil Filmer. Cllr Phil Filmer, Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, said: “We do not send recyclable material to landfill sites. The only material that is sent to landfill is waste that cannot be recycled. “An article in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph stated that Medway sent more than 10 per cent of its recyclable waste or compost to landfill. This is not the case. “In fact, only five per cent of material initially collected for recycling or for composting is sent to landfill. This is because it is contaminated in some way and cannot therefore be recycled. “In the last four years, Medway has doubled the amount of waste it recycles and now recycles or composts more than 30 per cent of all the waste it collects. “Waste collected for recycling by the council is collected in three ways. These are a fortnightly collection from people’s homes, neighbourhood bring sites (such as bottle, textile and paper banks) and household waste recycling centres (there are three in Medway where residents can bring a wider range of material such as electrical items, batteries, chemicals and other material, which it is not possible to collect from people’s homes). “In addition, unlike nine million people in the UK who now only get their waste collected every two weeks, Medway continues to be committed to a weekly collection of household waste. “Medway Council recycles more than 30 per cent of the total household waste it collects. This figure does not include any contaminated material, which has had to be sent to landfill as it cannot be recycled. “The council’s recycling is not affected by the economic downturn and we have not changed our recyling policy, except to increase the range of material we can recycle, since it was introduced in 2002. “We now collect glass from households - a new service introduced in the past few months in response to demand from residents. “Medway residents do a great job separating recycling from their normal household waste to help protect the environment. “At Christmas time, we all receive a great deal of wrapping paper and food and drinks packaging that can be recycled. “If residents are in any doubt about how to recycle the right materials they should visit the council website - www.medway.gov.uk/recylenow <http://www.medway.gov.uk/recyclenow> -, look at their recyling calendar (which was sent to every home over the past couple of months) or call the council’s contact centre on 01634 333333 for more information.” Notes to Editors: The material that Medway Council can recycle includes: - Kerbside recyling (material that residents leave outside their homes in blue boxes or blue bags). Newspapers and magazines, all phone books, junk mail, card and cardboard, envelopes, all types of metal food and drinks cans, aerosols, foil, plastic bottles, carrier bags and glass bottles and jars. - Bring Sites (Bottle banks etc.). Glass bottles and jars, all types of metal cans, paper and cardboard, textiles and shoes and five sites with liquid beverage cartons (Tetrapaks). - Household waste recycling sites (there are three in Medway). All the materials above as well as electrical items, fridges and freezers, garden waste, metal, engine oil, car and household batteries, gas bottles, fluorescent light tubes and wood.