Express & Star

Council thanks residents for getting behind recycling scheme

Recycling residents are being thanked for their support as figures show a campaign has been having a significant impact.

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Since the ‘Check before you chuck’ campaign began at the end of January, Wolverhampton Council said it had seen a steady reduction in the amount of contaminated household bins.

Initially, up to 14 per cent of recycling bins were tagged as contaminated, but new figures from the council showed this had dropped below four per cent.

The council has thanked all residents who are supporting the ongoing campaign to improve the quality of recycling put in household bins.

It has also taken on feedback received from residents via social media channels and during door-to-door visits about ways to make recycling clearer.

This has included providing short films on social media about trickier or confusing items, expanding details about specific materials on the council webpage and making updates to bin tags based on the items crews were finding in bins.

‘Check before you chuck’ was launched due to a significant increase in the number of incorrect items being placed in recycling bins, with the contamination costing taxpayers more than £185,000 a year to deal with.

The scheme had caused controversy when it came in at the start of May, with plenty of orange tags being dished out on bins by refuse collectors to tell them about the incorrect items being left in recycling bins and asking for those items to be removed.

This included pizza boxes, as they are too contaminated by food residue, polystyrene, such as food containers and packaging inserts, nappies and sanitary products and garden waste.

Members of the waste services team also carryied out visits to residents who have not had their bin collected on more than one occasion to offer advice and a guidance leaflet.

Under the campaign, educational messages have been shared through local newspapers and radio stations, on billboards and via electronic road signs.

Posters and leaflets have been put in public and community venues, information included in council and community newsletters and presentations given at public meetings.

The education and awareness campaign will continue over the coming weeks and residents are reminded that if they receive a tag, they can either remove the contaminants and present their bin again on their next scheduled collection, put them in their general household waste bin or take their waste to one of the city’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, cabinet member for resident services at Wolverhampton Council, said: “A huge thank you to all of our residents who are supporting our ‘Check before you chuck’ campaign, we are extremely pleased with the response and delighted that people have seen what we’re trying to achieve.

“The past week’s figures show that more than 95% of our householders are helping out by putting the right thing in their bins.

"We really want to encourage everyone else to join us in helping to save money and protect the environment.

“We know that recycling can be confusing and we have taken on board feedback from residents about this. We will be continuing to look for ways to share education and awareness.

“Once again, we would like to thank everyone who checks before they chuck.

"We really appreciate your support in helping to make Wolverhampton a cleaner and greener city.”

Residents can also find a simple guide to what can and can’t be recycled at