Date: 22/01/2008 Category: Waste and Recycling
Green-thinking pupils from Twydall Junior School have already won an award for doing their bit to help the environment. Now they’re encouraging everyone in Medway to follow their lead and send less waste to landfill by recycling more of their rubbish. Last November, Twydall Junior was named Kent’s greenest school, an award presented to them by the Kent and Medway Walking Bus project, for recycling high levels of waste and its walking bus scheme. Today,(Tuesday, 22 January) pupils from the school in Romany Road, Gillingham, helped launch Medway Council’s Think Blue not Black campaign. The campaign is encouraging residents to send less rubbish to landfill by recycling more of their waste. From Friday, 25 January, households across Medway will no longer receive free black refuse sacks. Instead, they will be supplied with a pack of blue sacks every 13 weeks. The change does not mean that black bag rubbish will no longer be collected, or any reduction in collection times; only that residents will have to buy their own black sacks for rubbish that cannot be recycled. Everyday items like fizzy drinks bottles, baked bean cans, junk mail and newspapers can all be recycled through the council’s blue box and bag doorstep collection, rather than being put in the black sacks and sent to landfill. Nearly 70 per cent of rubbish sent to landfill sites could be recycled or composted. Medway Council already pays £24 per tonne in landfill tax, which is set to rise to £32 in April. The council is restricted in the amount of biodegradable waste it sends to landfill and could be fined up to £150 for every tonne of biodegradable waste above this allowance. If Medway households continue to send current levels of waste to landfill then by 2011 the council could be fined up to £1.5million for exceeding allowances, money that could be spent on improvements to services. Ginny Wilson, acting Headteacher at Twydall Junior School, said she was pleased to endorse the campaign. She said: “I am very proud of the school’s green credentials. We believe in educating our children about the importance of recycling and living a greener life, both in school and at home. We have recycling bins in our classrooms, which we encourage staff and pupils to use to help us recycle paper.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services Cllr Phil Filmer added: “Medway’s blue bag scheme has proved to be very successful and the demand for doorstep collections remains high. “People in Medway are now recycling more than ever before – in 2006/07 Medway recycled almost a third of its rubbish. While this is a great achievement, there are still ways we can improve our highly valued waste and recycling services and make recycling even easier. “And while recycling is obviously very important, reducing the amount of waste we produce in the first place is just as important. By making informed choices about what we buy and use, we can all make choices that help reduce the amount we have to throw away.” To find out more about recycling in Medway, please visit www.medway.gov.uk/recyclenow, call Customer First on 01634 333333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ***************************************************************************************************** Recycling tips Recycling is collected fortnightly. Please put out your recycling by 7am on collection day and make sure it’s next to, but separate from, your rubbish for landfill. If you have a blue box use it for heavier items like paper and cardboard. Blue bags are ideal for lighter or bulkier items like tins or plastic bottles. Don’t put extra recycling out in black bags – these are treated as rubbish for landfill and will not be recycled. If you run out of blue bags you can collect more free from Medway Council contact points – call 01634 333333 for more information. Reduce your waste and improve the condition of your garden at the same time by investing in a compost bin. Visit www.recyclenow.com/home_composting to order a reduced-price compost bin. Recycling questions: What happens to my recyclable waste after it is collected? It’s taken to our materials recycling facility in Rainham, Essex. Here the recycling goes through a number of mechanical, electronic and manual processes that separates it into different types of materials. The separated materials are then sent to companies that recycle them into new products. Why can’t yoghurt ports or margarine tubs be recycled? Recycling depends on people or companies wanting to use the materials for recycling. Currently we only have a reliable and viable market for the types of plastics used to make plastic bottles and carrier bags. Even though other types of plastic packaging may be made from the same grade of plastics, they cannot easily be separated form the non-recyclable materials during the sorting process. I always fill up my blue box. Please can I have another? Unfortunately, we can only provide one blue box per household or maisonette. Don’t forget you can use blue bags for recycling that won’t fit into your blue box. My blue box has been lost or damaged. What can I do? Please call Customer First on 01634 333333 or email email@example.com for a new one.