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Why is Wiltshire so poor at recycling?

July 26, 2022 7:00 AM
By South West Wiltshire Liberal Democrats

The following table contains household waste data derived from WasteDataFlow and Defra's statistical department for the period covering the financial year 2020/21.

The data shows the total household waste recycling, composting and reuse rate for English local authorities from April 2020 to March 2021.

Local authorities are listed in overall performance order. 2020/21 overall performance - letsrecycle.com

Data is sourced from Defra data and was published in December 2021.

Wiltshire sits at 165th in the table out of 338. Many other rural unitary councils perform better than Wiltshire. This is a question that residents and councillors across Wiltshire need to be asking Wiltshire Council - what can we do to improve recycling rates?

WHICH produced a recycling guide to help people in the UK last year. Their guide to plastic explains what can and can't be recycled, and how.

Read more: How to recycle in the UK - Which?

Their tips for recycling are:

Screw lids back on

The general rule is to screw plastic lids back on to their bottles and push straws back into cartons before recycling. On their own they are too small to make it through most recycling sorting machines (most will reject anything narrower than 40mm). However the advice can vary depending on what your local authority collects. Wrap and Recycle Now communicate this nationally and it's the way they have outlined how collections should be managed according to their recycling guidelines. This is all part of trying to make collections consistent across the UK.

Squash bottles

Squash plastic bottles before you put them out for recycling. Not only does this save space (reducing their carbon footprint), but it also stops them rolling off the sorting machine conveyor belts

Recycle at the supermarket

Take recyclable plastic film and leftover carrier bags back to recycling points at big supermarkets - our investigation showed that this could increase the amount of supermarket packaging you recycle by up to 10%

Empty and rinse

If there's residual food waste left in your recycling, empty it and give it a quick rinse. They don't need to be sparkling, but a half-full yoghurt pot or baked bean tin, for example, risk contaminating porous materials such as paper and card in the same recycling load and rendering it all unrecyclable

Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/shopping-sustainably/article/how-to-recycle-in-the-uk-ajwEz4p63Qs6?utm_source=which&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=text_share - Which?