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It’s Bin a Busy Year
Saturday 22nd December, 2012

Residents are being thanked for cutting their waste and boosting recycling rates following a year of big changes to Wigan Council refuse services.

This year saw 128,000 kitchen caddies distributed to residents to support food waste recycling. And as more services became available, the need for the ‘non-recyclable’ black bins reduced and collections switched to every second week. The borough was sending 130,000 tonnes of waste to landfill back in 2006 when recycling services took off. Now that amount is close to 70,000 tonnes, and falling annually.

“Recycling is up and that’s great news for everyone,” says Cllr Kevin Anderson, the council’s lead for the environment. “As the year started, we were collecting around 6500 tonnes of waste in black bins every month. That’s already down to around 4700 tonnes. This means people are throwing fewer resources away and are using their recycling bins more. We need to keep reducing the amount that’s not recycled but we’re moving in the right direction. On behalf of the council, thank you to everyone who has played their part.”

The amount collected each month in the well-established brown bin service has remained fairly constant in 2012 at about 1200 tonnes of bottles, cans and plastics.

The big change has been that this year began with around 786 tonnes of paper being collected monthly. Now that the blue bins accept tetrapak cartons and a wider range of paper products – and another 30,000 homes have a blue bin - that figure has shot up towards 10,000 tonnes a month.

“Residents understand that we can’t carry on throwing things away to go to landfill or as energy from waste,” adds Cllr Anderson. “We sort out the items we buy at the shops when we bring them into our homes – and we must do the same when we’ve finished with them.”

Residents are being reminded that green bin collections continue throughout the winter – so excess Christmas sprouts and turkey carcasses can be recycled. Clean wrapping paper and cards (no tinsel or sticky tape) is accepted in the blue bin. The brown bin, as well as being home for old bottles and cans of festive cheer, is also the place for unwanted sweet and biscuit tins. Full collection details are on www.wigan.gov.uk – search under ‘recycling’. The green bin can be used to recycle real Christmas trees – minus, of course, the decorations.

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