Enjoy A Greener Summer
From picnics in the park to lazy days on the beach and barbecues in the garden. Summer in West Sussex spells lots of lovely days out as we enjoy all that the county has to offer. But while we might be in holiday mode, it’s important that we don’t take a break from recycling and make sure we’re doing our bit to help avoid creating a small mountain of rubbish by recycling as much of our summer waste as we can.
Long summer evenings are perfect for spending with family and friends, enjoying leisurely barbecues and picnics. You can make recycling easy by placing a container next to the barbecue for people to pop their empty drinks cans and bottles into – and it’ll save you time on the post-party tidy up!
Plastic burger, sausage trays and coleslaw tubs can also be recycled now, as can your empty ketchup bottles. What about those little plastic pots containing ready-made dips and fruit punnets, foil covering the homemade dishes or even the clean foil container from your quiche? They can be recycled too. And don’t forget those aerosols. Used and empty bug repellent, anti-perspirant and antiseptic spray – your kerbside collection can take more than you think.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT RECYCLING?
Well, it can take decades for plastic to decompose. Plastic bottles from 40 years ago have been discovered in landfill sites and, unfortunately, they still look good for their age. Earlier this year a washing-up bottle from the 1970s was dug out of a closed landfill site near Steyning and it looked almost as good as new – if a little grubby.
Recycling plastics means they can be turned into other items such as toys, football shirts, picnic benches – or other bottles or containers. It can take as little as six weeks to turn your old plastic bottle into a new one!
More than 1,250 tonnes of plastic bottles and containers have been processed at the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Ford during the three month period from March until the end of May. It’s an increase of around 200 tonnes compared to the same period last year, when 1,037 tonnes of plastic material was processed at the plant, which is run by Viridor.
Of course, it’s not all about plastics – here in West Sussex, glass bottle and jars, cartons, metal cans and aerosols, foil, paper and card can also be recycled at home provided they are clean, dry and loose – not tied up in plastic bags.
This is really important. If food and liquid leftovers get into your recycling bin it can ruin the rest of your recycling – and it may harm the process at the recycling facility in Ford as it can cause items to stick together or even clog the machinery.
If you are eating al fresco, whether you’re camping, picnicking or barbecuing, why not choose to reuse?
It’s far better to put food into re-usable containers rather than wrapping it in plastic film or foil. You could also consider using reusable plates and cutlery instead of buying disposable products that can’t be recycled. And don’t forget to dispose of your picnic waste responsibly by taking it home with you.
Visit www.recycleforwestsussex.org for a full list of things that can be recycled in West Sussex, you can also find out what happens to your recycling once it has been collected from your kerbside.
Enjoy the holidays and be a sun-sational summer recycler.