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YES you can recycle more

‘Yes you can’ is the name of the new campaign launched by Waltham Forest Council as it looks to encourage residents to do even better on recycling as much of their waste as possible.

“We’re really keen to drive recycling rates up even further,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment. “Residents have made some decent progress over recent years, but there is still the need for some people to come at recycling from a different angle.

“People need to start seeing their green bin as their main bin so that we can direct more rubbish away from black bins. General refuse collected in black bins is sent to landfill or for incineration and that is both costly and environmentally harmful.”

The Council is pushing the message that 70 per cent of household waste is recyclable and that things like plastics, tin cans, glass, paper and plastic bags can be put into residents’ green bins.

Likewise a host of food and garden waste can go directly into your kitchen caddy and then into your brown bin. Residents are being encouraged to remember to add compostable caddy liners to their shopping list so that the mess of transferring kitchen waste to the brown bin is minimised.

“We’re pushing the message that there are lots of things that people currently don’t recycle that they can,” said Cllr Loakes. “I think things may have moved on without people realising and so the point of ‘Yes you can’ is to inform residents just how much more they can be doing.

“So, for example, people may already be recycling cans and tins, but be unaware that actually most metal items can go in your green bin. Empty aerosols, foil trays, foil wrapping and metal lids are all recyclable.”

The Council also wants residents to think about the small stuff, as again while large items like cardboard boxes and plastic bottles may be obvious recyclable items, often things like yoghurt pots, plastic packaging and even toilet roll tubes are forgotten or considered to be insignificant. It’s amazing how much those sorts of small items can build up in the black bin, when actually they would do much better being recycled in the green bin.

When it comes to food and garden waste, the Council is particularly keen on seeing much more material from the kitchen end up in the brown bin. Much of what is needed is a change in behaviour so that again the less obvious food waste is disposed of in the kitchen caddy.

Food items that we’ll never eat and need to throw away, like egg shells, fruit and vegetable peelings, banana skins etc. naturally suggest themselves for the kitchen caddy. But it is also about placing tea bags and coffee grounds in it as a matter of course every time you make a drink.

Likewise, getting into the habit after meals of emptying unwanted leftovers or plate scrapings straight into your kitchen caddy before you do the washing up – it can make a real difference.

Placing your kitchen caddy in a convenient, easy to access place – preferably a cool, dark space such as under the sink – and keeping your kitchen caddy clean by rinsing it out regularly, keeping the lid closed and using compostable kitchen caddy liners can also encourage use. Then it’s just a case of transferring it to your brown bin with all your garden waste, such as grass cuttings, leaves and cut flowers from the house.

To find out more about what you can recycle, go to the Council’s website at Free internet access is available at all libraries in the borough.Photo: Councillor Clyde Loakes is sending out the message loud and clear – use your bins wisely and recycle more.

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