Recycling plastic pots and tubs in Cornwall

Back in 2016 Cornwall Council tested the impact of adding plastic pots, tubs and trays to the existing kerbside recycling service. The trial included 46,000 properties, which I am pleased to say Porthleven was part of. From this trail, the results were very positive and because of this Cabinet, supported by all Members voted to extend the service across the whole of Cornwall in a phased approach during 2017.

It has to be phased because this is a major service change that will affect all aspects of the collection. It is essential in this roll-out to maintain a high level of customer service and have enough time to deliver more recycling equipment, and collect additional items. Therefore, the Council will be phasing the new service in five areas.

The first collections will begin in April and the Council hope to have the final area on board by end of year, depending on any issues that may arise. For those residents who are already in the trail, nothing changes. The initial plan to extend the service and commence collections in partnership with the Council waste contractor Biffa in the most practical order for them, and goes like this;

April – Continue collecting in the area used in the trial (half of what was Carrick and Kerrier districts) and start collecting in the other half of that area which includes Falmouth, the Lizard peninsular, Camborne, Redruth, St Agnes, Perranporth, Tregony and Truro.

Phase 2 – Central area 2 including Newquay, St Austell, Mevagissey, Lostwithiel, St Columb, the China Clay area and Fowey.

Phase 3 – East area 2 including Liskeard, St Cleer, Looe, Torpoint, Saltash and Callington,

Phase 4 – East area 1 including Bude, Launceston, Bodmin, Wadebridge, Padstow, Camelford, Delabole.

Phase 5  – West area 1 including Penzance, Hayle, St Ives, St Just.

The Council will send a leaflet out to every household to let them know when they can begin to use the service a few weeks before the service begins enabling them to order more recycling equipment if they need to.  The Council will then send a second leaflet just before the service starts to remind residents that the service is beginning and how to order containers.

Plastic pots tubs and trays will be collected on the same day as the current recycling collection in the same bag as the one used already for plastic bottles, tins and cans.

It is important to know what can they recycle as part of the new service? Please remember to rinse and squash any dirty plastic pots, tubs and trays before recycling them.

Yes please No thank you
Plastic margarine tubs Plastic bags e.g. carrier bags, sandwich bags
Plastic ice cream tubs Plastic film e.g. Cling film
Plastic yoghurt pots Plastic oil or pesticide containers
Plastic biscuit and cake trays/box inserts Black plastic trays, pots and tubs
Plastic meat trays Expanded polystyrene (burger boxes)
Plastic fruit and vegetable trays Any plastic containers larger than three litres
Plastic moulded fruit containers Pet food pouches
Plastic fresh soup pots Film lids from pots, tubs and trays
Plastic sweet/biscuit boxes Crisp/sweet packets
Plastic cream pots and tubs Rigid plastics e.g. toys, furniture, ‘Tupperware’
Plastic salad bowl/pot  
Plastic premade sandwich packet  
Plastic lids from containers and bottles (excluding film lids)  

 

Why are we not collecting any of the other plastic? To make the collection of these items as cost effective as possible, we have to have the ability to sell the material that we collect for recycling. Sadly the Council cannot recycle films, polystyrene, black plastic or ridged plastic at this time.

A question I am often asked is why can we not take black plastics? These plastics are predominantly sorted with lasers that can identify the different types of plastic. The lasers cannot “see” the black plastic and it ends up in the reject pile at the end of the process and is not recycled.

If anybody doesn’t have any recycling equipment then this is the opportunity for them to order it. For everyone else we hope they can use their current bag for recycling pots, tubs and trays. However, the Council have factored in time to be able to order additional containers before the service starts.

Containers can be ordered either over the phone, or order recycling containers online

 

 

Rubbish and recycling collections over the Christmas period

It is that time of the year when people ask: will there be any changes to my weekly and fortnightly rubbish/recycling collections? The good news is unless your collection for either rubbish, clinical waste, recycling or garden waste collections falls on Boxing Day, then there will be no change to your collection. As Boxing Day (Monday 26 December) is the only collection day that is affected over Christmas and New Year.

Now if your collection would have been on Boxing Day, then your rubbish and clinical waste due to be collected on Boxing Day will be collected on Monday 2nd January. If your recycling or garden waste collection waste is due on Boxing Day (Monday 26 December) it will be collected on Saturday 31st December .

Date Rubbish and Clinical Recycling or Garden
Boxing Day

Monday 26 December

No collection

Next collection on Monday 2 January.

No collection

Next collection on Saturday 31 December

For anyone wanting to use the Household Waste and Recycling Centres, these will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The people at these centres need a day off too!

The Council will still collection you Christmas Tree for free, and yes it only applies to Christmas trees. This free collection will start from the 9th January and 16th January.  All you have to do is put your tree out on your normal rubbish collection day on the alternate week to your recycling collection. The trees will be collected and then shredded and composted. You can also take your tree to the Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

The following items can be recycled in the following ways:

  • Christmas cardsThere are various charity collections for Christmas cards.  You can also put them in your cardboard bag as part of your household recycling collection.
  • Envelopes – Envelopes can go in your household recycling collection.  White envelopes should go into the bag for paper, coloured or brown envelopes should go with the cardboard.
  • Wrapping paperWe can take wrapping paper that isn’t coated with foil or plastic.  Please put all non-shiny wrapping paper in bag for paper, and remove any sticky tape, string or ribbons.
  • CardboardOver Christmas there are a lot of extra cardboard boxes. Flatten the boxes and put them in the orange cardboard recycling bag. If the boxes are too big, flat pack them, tie them in a bundle and put them out next to your recycling. If you have very large amounts of cardboard, you can either take it to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centres or put it out for the kerbside collection over a couple of weeks.
  • Tin FoilPut scrunched up tin foil into the sack for plastic bottles and cans.
  • Sweet and biscuit tinsYou can put chocolate and biscuit tins out for recycling in the sack for plastic bottles and tins. We can only accept metal sweet and biscuit tins at this time. We cannot take the plastic tubs. (Unless you are in the pots tubs and trays trial)

If you have more kerbside recycling than usual, please put it out in carrier bags.  Glass bottles and jars must be put in a rigid box.

Merry Christmas and keep recycling!!

Cornwall Council to roll out mixed-plastic collections Duchy wide.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet has made the decision on Wednesday to roll out mixed plastic collection to the whole of Cornwall. This follows on from the successful trail of 46,000 households that the area I represent was part of. As a resident, I believe this is the right thing to do.

I was very happy to second the proposal that my fellow Cabinet Member, Joyce Duffin who put forward a series of proposals at Cabinet. Which you will be pleased to know were approved. Huge credit must go to Joyce, all the officers of the Council and our waste contractors Biffa and Suez for making the trail work and to have a clear plan for a Cornwall wide roll-out.

I started to collect the mixed-plastics to see the scale of plastics that prior to the trail would go to landfill. I planned to do this for six-months, but had to recycle after four because the sheer bulk of mix-plastics; and I am a household of one adult and child. As the following picture will show.

This roll-out will commence from March 2017 and will take around nine months to fully implement the scheme. It takes this long to roll it out due to the lead time of the extra bags that will be required; and to make sure the right information is sent to households in those areas that it is being rolled out to. Those areas in the trail will continue in the meantime to have their mixed-plastics collected. So if you are not in the trail, please do not start to recycle mixed-plastics till you have been informed.

Analyses have shown that roughly 6.6% of the overall recycling received in the trail areas is mixed-plastics. Of that 6.6%, 22% is plastic pots, tubs and trays and 78% is plastic bottles. The good news is there has been a 20.51% increase in recycling tonnage (556.97 tonnes) compared to the same period to the last year. Furthermore, it is estimated that the plastic pots, tubs and trays collected represent 2.08% of the overall tonnage of the area during the seven-months of the trail.

Further good news is on modelling the plastic pits, tubs and trays, and the additional materials collected there has been an increase of the kerbside recycling rate from 18.86% to 22.33%.  When this scheme is rolled out to the whole of Cornwall our kerbside recycling rate will rise from 35% to 37%. In tonnage terms this equates to 4,800. A positive improvement, but we still have to go a long way to do more in reducing waste going to landfill.

Porthleven residents to get extra support to help with recycling

I hope most people we know That Porthleven and many areas of Helston were selected to take part in the trial mixed plastic kerbside recycling collection scheme which collects plastic pots tubs and trays in addition to the collection of plastic bottles. In total around 46,000 properties are taking part in the trail in Cornwall.dot-and-lisa-photo

I have been sent a letter explaining Cornwall Council wants Porthleven to help more people to recycle. The letter is as follows:

In order to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the kerbside collection service, and to help them use the service properly, we are employing some temporary ‘recycling advisers’.

Our new recycling advisers are Dot Peryer and Lisa Spooner. They will be working in Porthleven on Monday 26 September. They will be visiting people in their homes to find out about their recycling habits, and explaining what they can and can’t recycle. They will also be offering extra recycling equipment for those that need it.

They will be carrying Cornwall Council ID and will be working with us for about a month, so should able to complete all door to door visits in Porthleven and move onto other towns.

If there is no one at home the advisors will put a “while you were out” card through the door giving basic information and asking residents to contact the team either by emailing the refuse and recycling inbox or calling the contact centre.

We chose Porthleven as we are doing recycling participation surveys in the area and also have accurate information about the amount of recycling that is being collected. This means that we will be able to measure the impact of this method of communication and, if it works, hopefully expand it in the future.

For more information about the Recycling Advisors contact Esther O’Bearagh on 01872 324948 or email eobearagh@cornwall.gov.uk

Let’s show Porthleven can be one of the best recycling areas in Cornwall!!

Cornwall’s rubbish and recycling collections over the Christmas period

We are at that time again, when those areas which have their rubbish, recycling and green waste collected over the Christmas period are often confused if a collection will take place. Fear not, as this blog post will explain what will be happening.

The first bit of information is there will be no rubbish, clinical waste, recycling or garden waste collections on Christmas Day. Rubbish and clinical waste will be collected on the scheduled collection day the following week.

If your garden waste or recycling collection is due on Christmas Day, it will be collected on Saturday 2 January.

The table below shows how collections are affected, to view your households full collection calendar go to www.cornwall.gov.uk/recycling and click on ‘find your collection day’.

Date Rubbish/Clinical Recycling/Garden
Christmas Day

Friday 25 December

No collection

Next collection on Friday  1 January.

No collection

Next collection on Saturday 2 January .

This is the only collection day that is affected over Christmas, all other collections will remain unchanged.

The Household Waste and Recycling Centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Just in case you were thinking of taking your rubbish there.

Free Christmas tree Collection

The Council will collect real Christmas trees in the weeks starting 11 January and 18 January.  Put your tree out on your normal rubbish collection day on the alternate week to your recycling collection. The trees will be collected for free and then shredded and composted. You can also take your tree to the Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

Christmas cards

There are various charity collections for Christmas cards.  You can also put them in your cardboard bag as part of your household recycling collection.

Envelopes

Envelopes can go in your household recycling collection.  White envelopes should go into the paper bag, coloured or brown envelopes should go with the cardboard.

Wrapping paper

We can take wrapping paper that isn’t coated with foil or plastic.  Please put all non-shiny wrapping paper in bag for paper, and remove any sticky tape, string or ribbons.

Cardboard

Over Christmas there are a lot of extra cardboard boxes. Flatten the boxes and put them in the cardboard recycling bag.

If the boxes are too big, flat pack them, tie them in a bundle and put them out next to your recycling. If you have very large amounts of cardboard, you can either take it to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centres or put it out for the kerbside collection over a couple of weeks.

Tin Foil

Put scrunched up tin foil into the sack for plastic bottles and cans.

Chocolate and biscuit tins

You can put chocolate and biscuit tins out for recycling in the sack for plastic bottles and tins. We can only accept metal sweet and biscuit tins. We can’t take the plastic tubs. (Unless you’re in the pots, tubs and trays trial).

Additional recycling

If you have more kerbside recycling then usual, please put it out in carrier bags.  Glass bottles and jars must be put in a rigid box.

Simple enough?

Merry Christmas!

Cornwall Council’s pots, tubs and trays recycling trial scheme to launch on the 30th November

On the 30 November 2015 Cornwall Council will be launching the new pots, tubs and trays trial recycling scheme. I really welcome this as I pointed out in a previous post. I believe if we want to increase recycling in Cornwall, we need to stop the confusion of what plastic can and cannot be recycled. As this confusion tends to make people just throw it into the black bag.

The trial will consist of approximately 46,000 properties across parts of the previous Kerrier and Carrick Districts. These properties were chosen as they are all on the same collection route and the rounds all take place out of the Newham Depot in Truro.

Those properties included in the trial will receive a leaflet in the post which will be sent out between 5 October 2015 and 23 October 2015 explaining about the scheme. This does mean that unfortunately, in some cases, only part of a town or village will be included in the Pots, Tubs and Trays Trial. To check if your house is part of the trail click HERE.

Below is I hope an easy guide of what will be included in the trial.

image

It is a shame black plastics – often used in ready meals – cannot be recycled. This is because of the processing machine which uses an optical sorter and cannot detect black plastics, therefore, this cannot be sorted from the other materials, and is treated as a contaminant. So if you are part of the trail, please do not place black plastics out for the recycling collection.

The new materials can be placed into the same bags as tins and plastic bottles. If you need more bags and boxes, please order them from the Council’s website.

Once the trail is completed, and everything goes to plan, then the recycling of plastics will be rolled out to the whole of Cornwall.

 

Porthleven and Helston to be part of the mixed plastics recycling trial

I have long argued that if we want to seriously increase kerbside recycling – and indeed recycling per se – we need to take all types of plastics. With so many different plastics in day-to-day use, it is hard to know which one you can legitimately recycle, or has to be thrown into the black bag. Often this results in all plastic getting throw into either the black bag, or into the recycling. The latter costing more to sort, with the former heading to landfill.

I am pleased to say, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Cllr Joyce Duffin, supported by the Cabinet have agreed for a trial to take place that will allow certain areas to recycle all plastics. It is hoped from this, the recycling rate will increase for all recyclable items.

The good news is Porthleven and Helston have been included in this trial. These two towns are included with approximately 45,000 households that will take part in the trial.

The trial is for 12 months, but a report will come back to committee responsible for waste after 6 months of operation. At this point if the trial is deemed a success, plans will be put in place to roll out collection throughout Cornwall.

I really (really) welcome this, as I believe we should be doing more to recycle and send less to landfill. This is not only good for the environment, but makes financial sense, as the cost of landfill is becoming prohibited.

The trial is set to start in mid-November with all those involved in the trial will be getting notification through the letter box and Cornwall Council’s ‘Your area’ and the postcode checker.

 

Cornwall Council set to – finally – collect mixed plastic

The Cabinet of Cornwall Council has approved the collection of mixed plastics as part of the recycling kerb-side collection. However, this will be on a trail base and in certain areas only.

The reason for the trial which will cover 40,000 odd houses is because the true cost of collecting this material is not an exact science. As mixed plastics is not worth very much money, but if you collect this type of material, then it should increase the recycling rate of other materials like glass and paper which have a higher value. In essence, a huge up take of recycling could be financially positive. If not, and if Cornwall wants to collect mix plastics county-wide, then the cost of this will have to be found from existing budgets. I am hoping for it to be financially positive.

Of course this does not include the moral and environmental duty of sending less to landfill. Furthermore, we could find that landfill taxes rise and rise and having no option of collecting mixed plastics.

The area for the trial has not yet been confirmed, but it will include both rural and urban areas. The trail will last 12 months, but at six-months a review will take place, and depending on the review, the mixed plastic collection could (I hope) be rolled out county-wide.

I would have like to see the Council just get on with it and start collecting mixed plastics, however, I do understand the need to financially assess this and therefore, supported the trial at Cabinet.

 

 

Porthleven’s Missing Recycling Bags

I know many people have not yet received their new recycling bags. This issue was raised at today’s Cornwall Council Cabinet, and the Portfolio Holder gave a statement that could go some way to address this issue.

Those assembled were told those who were missed would be getting theirs delivered in the next few weeks. However, as much as this sound great, how will they know who have been missed? I say this because in Porthleven the delivery of these bags and boxes was a little ad-hoc. So it will be interesting to see how this will be accomplished.

The good news is a limited number of recycling bag and boxes will be available in the One Stop Shops. You could also ring the council and asked for either your initial issue, or if you have been lucky enough to receive some, ask for more. I would suggest these two options would be probably the best way to ensure you get the bags and boxes.

Failing that, if those within my Electoral Division are still having difficulties, get in touch and I will sort it for you.

Earn Nectar Points for Recycling?

Sorry if the title raised your hopes of earning a few Nectar points for recycling. Sadly, this scheme is being rolled out in Birmingham and not Cornwall. Personally, I think the idea of trying to make people recycle more by fines and punishments rarely works.

Birmingham’s view is to reward, as then there is something for everyone. The Council gains by not paying the high land fill tax and the customer gets a reward that can be spent in a variety of shops. This method of reward is now being copied by most retailers since the Tesco Clubcard proved to be a huge success. So if these reward schemes are so successful isn’t about time Local Authorities adopted them?

In Cornwall the recycling rate is on average about the 39%. Trying to get more people to recycle a greater amount of their waste is for a lot of Councils the Holy Grail. Leaflets and flash marketing drives only work to a point. Maybe this, or a similar scheme could work in Cornwall.

I will be asking the question on feasibility and possible costs to senior officers once things settle down from the summer period.