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Do a deal on recycling
Thursday 13th March, 2014

Do a deal on recycling
Deborah Rigby and her family recycling

Wigan Council is calling on residents to recycle more as part of its “deal” with the public.

The authority has already saved millions of pounds since a new recycling scheme was introduced but even more money could be saved if people “recycled more and recycled right”.

The recycling system introduced in 2012 has already saved more than £2m. A further five per cent reduction in non-recyclable waste would save the council £322,000 every year.

The council made improving recycling rates a key part of its recently launched “deal” with the public. The Deal is an informal contract between the council and residents and includes a commitment for both sides to work together to change public services, minimise the impact of spending cuts and help make Wigan Borough a better place.

As part of The Deal, the council has frozen council tax this year but it needs the public to help it save money. Reducing waste and recycling more is a quick and easy way of cutting costs.

Councils are charged fees to send rubbish that can’t be recycled to landfill sites – with the size of the fee varying according to the amount of rubbish. If more waste could be recycled it would reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and reduce the cost to the council.

Deborah Rigby from Ince is already doing her bit. She lives with her partner and five children. The seven of them generate lots of waste – most of which Deborah diligently recycles. The 51-year old said: “At first we did find it difficult. But, with such a large family we soon realised we needed to recycle in order to get rid of our waste. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fine. We all recycle now. It’s become part of our daily routine.”

Irene Mawdesley, also from Ince, is another keen recycler. The 67-year old said: “We all have a responsibility to recycle. We must look after the environment now before it’s too late for our next generations.”

Wigan Borough is already exceeding the government target for councils to recycle 45 per cent of their waste by 2015. The council collects more than 132,000 tonnes a year, of which 64,000 tonnes are recycled. That means the borough has a recycling rate of 48.5 per cent.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “I’d like to thank residents for their support so far in reducing recycling rates. The people of the borough are recycling more than ever and that means we are beating government targets.

“Therefore the cost to the council of dealing with waste is declining and we have more money to spend on other things such as road repairs, training for young people and the council tax freeze we have just announced. With the government’s spending cuts, any savings we can make have a big impact on our budget.

“But we need people to do more. The more we recycle the more money we save. We’re still seeing lots of recyclable materials put into black bins and then sent to landfill. This costs us money. Another issue is contamination in recycling bins. It is great residents are recycling but we need them to recycle right. Putting waste into the right bins is critical.

“The Deal is all about people playing their part. One of the easiest things everyone can get involved with is recycling and potentially it could make a big difference by saving taxpayers a lot of money.”

For more information about The Deal go to www.wigan.gov.uk/thedeal

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