Recyclable items that are often disposed of in general waste – such as empty aerosols, aluminium cans and food trays – are the focus of this year’s nationwide recycling campaign.
Islanders are being encouraged to join in National Recycle Week (16 to 22 October) which is focusing on ‘missed capture’ – recyclable items that frequently end up in black bags.
St James will be illuminated in green during the week, joining other iconic buildings across the UK in raising awareness during the nation’s largest annual celebration of recycling.
Guernsey Waste minimisation and sustainability officer, Douglas Button, said: “The island has a great track record as far as recycling goes, but this campaign gives us the opportunity to remind islanders about other recyclable items around the home as well as the obvious ones.”
As an example, making an aluminium can or tin from recycled material uses 95% less energy than manufacturing one from raw materials.
“We can all make a difference through recycling in terms of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions, and preserving resources,” said Mr Button.
Guernsey Waste has not planned any large events for the week, but will have lots of information going out through its social media channels, including top tips and an invitation for islanders to share theirs as well.
It is also important that the materials the island exports for recycling are shown to be of good quality, to ensure that processors will accept them.
Items like crisp packets and thin film are a couple of the ‘usual suspects’ that appear in blue bags, however these should be disposed of in your general waste instead. If in doubt, people are asked to check the list of recyclable items on the blue and clear bags.
“It’s not just about the quantity that we recycle, quality also counts, and because islanders have been so good in the past, we’ve always been able to secure a market for our materials,” said Mr Button.
“People don’t need to scrub everything until it’s spotless, but it helps if people empty any leftovers into their food waste bin and rinse out any food containers.
“Blue bags can sit around for up to a fortnight between collections, and if they have dirty food containers in them, they can also start to smell and potentially attract vermin. Equally, at the end of the two weeks, it’s not that nice for the staff at Mayside, who must go through all the bags to sort the contents. They would also be grateful for any help we can give them.”
Guernsey Waste’s top five recycling tips:
- When recycling food containers, be sure to scrape any leftovers into your food waste caddy, before giving them a quick rinse.
- Make sure aerosols are empty before putting them in your blue bag.
- Check your bathrooms and other areas of your home for toiletry bottles, cardboard toilet roll inners, newspapers and magazines.
- Tissues and paper towels are unsuitable for recycling and should be disposed of in general waste.
- Battery operated and electrical items such as vapes, toothbrushes and mobile phones should not go in recycling or general waste bags. Instead take them to Longue Hougue Household Waste & Recycling Centre.