PLASTIC RECYCLING IN SWALE
Reduce, Re-use, RECYLE!
As a group of volunteers, we have had so many questions and are learning so much through our campaign work. One of the fascinating, and quite reassuring journeys we've been on, is to learn about what happens to our waste, including plastics. On this page, we are share what we have been learning.
Did you know that 44% of our household waste is recycled?
WORRIED ABOUT LANDFILL?
The most common assumption when we can't recycle something is that it will end up in landfill. Only 1% of Swale's household waste ends up in landfill. We have learned that in fact, our green bin household waste goes to the Waste to Energy Plant in Allington, where it is incinerated and the power generated is distributed via the National Grid. We visited the plant, along with some other eco-enthusiasts in March.
Whilst the process isn't 100% clean (they claim emissions are very low due to government restrictions), it seems a much better way of dealing with our waste (including unrecyclable plastics) than putting it in landfill. This way also reduces the risk of litter entering the environment.
You can find more information on the plant by visiting this link:
LEARNING ABOUT PLASTIC RECYCLING
At the beginning of our campaign, we thought it was important to educate ourselves on which plastics can and can't be recycled, as this is a point of confusion for many of us. To that end, Vikki Sedgwick, Environmental Projects Officer with Swale Council, kindly spent the morning with us and a pile of plastic rubbish, helping us understand what we can and can't recycle. Still items come up that we are not sure about, but we are learning all the time!
WHAT YOU CAN RECYCLE (PICTURED ABOVE)
Here is a photo of of some of the common objects you CAN recycle with Swale Borough Council. These rules are not the same with all councils, so please check your local council if you are not an SBC resident.
This includes plastic egg trays, dark plastic mushroom and meat trays (including black trays), plastic bottles, lids. Our picture also includes tetrapak cartons, as we are lucky to be able to recycle these here. Plastic spray bottles with a trigger spray (even if it has a metal spring) can be recycled.
WHAT YOU CAN'T RECYCLE (PICTURED ABOVE)
Here are some of the items you cannot currently recycle in our blue bins. This does account for a fair amount of waste that will need to go into your green (mixed household) bins, BUT some items, including shopping bags and other stretchy (not crunchy) bags, such as frozen chips bags, can be taken and disposed of at your local supermarket. There is a bin at most of the supermarkets where this can be done: we can confirm that Sainsbury's and Tesco in Faversham have collection points you can take them to.
PLASTIC RECYCLING GUIDE
From Swale Borough Council
If you are unsure and want to check whether an item is recyclable or not, go to Swale Borough Council's search tool by clicking the button below.