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Campaign urges households to recycle glass properly

18 March 2022

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Residents across Suffolk are being encouraged to get behind a campaign calling for people to recycle glass properly.

Suffolk Waste Partnership (SWP) is launching ‘Glass – It’s Better in The Bank’, a 12-week campaign aimed at getting people to stop putting glass in their household recycling bins and to use a bottle bank instead.

Suffolk Waste Partnership comprises the county, district and borough councils working together to improve waste management services.

The SWP campaign runs until May 31 and will feature in adverts on buses, at supermarket billboards and on a van touring part of the county, plus on social media and on radio.

District and borough councils, which collect rubbish, will be applying bin tags and stickers to recycling bins containing glass.

Crews will have a prompt in the cab to remind them to be on the look-out and recycling bins may not be emptied if they are found to contain glass.

There will be a dedicated web page about the campaign on the Suffolk Recycling webpage with a set of FAQs and an information leaflet to distribute at events.

Glass is not accepted in household recycling bins as the Materials Recycling Facility at Great Blakenham near Ipswich, where the bins are taken for sorting, is unable to separate glass from other materials.

Glass mistakenly placed in household recycling bins costs the SWP around £500,000 a year. It will NOT be recycled and can spoil other good recycling, especially card and paper.

Glass represents about half of all the wrong material in household recycling bins – other bad eggs include black rubbish sacks, food, nappies, textiles, and cartons – and rejection levels are currently running at around 20%.

Partnership chair Councillor James Mallinder said: “Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly without loss of quality - as long as it’s put in the right place – which in Suffolk is at your local bottle bank”

“Around 5,000 tonnes of glass were mistakenly put into household recycling bins last year, and a further 9,500 tonnes of perfectly recyclable bottles and jars got thrown into Suffolk’s rubbish bins – what a waste.

“In 20/21 people in Suffolk did a great job in that 18,390 tonnes of glass were recycled at bottle banks, and if everyone gets behind this campaign we can make that so much more. Recycling glass properly also helps to fight climate change.”

Most glass in Suffolk is collected, processed and recycled by the SWP’s Glass – It’s Better in The Bank’ campaign partner Countrystyle Recycling.

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Head of Commercial Operations for Countrystyle Recycling Limited said glass bottles and jars were remelted and end up back on retailers’ shelves in a matter of weeks.

“It is a true example of a ‘closed loop’ service and a shining example to Suffolk residents of the importance of recycling glass bottles and jars separately to avoid cross contamination with other recyclable materials,” he said.

“This long-term partnership with the Suffolk Waste Partnership cements Countrystyle Recycling’s commitment to East Anglia and assures residents the majority of glass collected is being recycled back into bottles and jars in the United Kingdom.”