Recycling in swale
Reduce reuse recycle
What can you put in your blue bin? Swale Borough Council Guidance links and advice can be found here.
What happens to your rubbish in Swale?
Taken from the Kent webpage:
In 2017/2018, less than 1% of all materials were sent to landfill.
Almost all of the recyclable waste we receive, including plastics, are processed and separated into individual materials for recycling at local Materials Recycling Facilities (MRF). From the MRF, plastics collected from households are used for recycling and remanufacturing. They are sorted into their various types and transported to reprocessing facilities where they are washed and refined into either flakes and pellets or, are sold back into the manufacturing industry, for example the production of plastic milk containers.
No plastic is sent to China under the Kent County Council (KCC) contracts. The plastics are all sorted into their various polymer types in the UK. Existing and new UK and European markets receive the plastics for their reprocessing and remanufacture into new products.
We work closely with our contractors to ensure the materials they process on our behalf are handled by responsible, ethical and UK Environment Agency Licenced companies.
What do those Recycling Symbols mean?
You’ve probably noticed symbols like these on your plastic packaging, but do you know what they mean? The arrows going around in a circle may lead you to think that the symbols are telling you that the item can be recycled, but in fact they don’t mean that at all.
The different resins used to make plastic are all given abbreviations and numbered 1 to 7. So, if you see this symbol with a 1 on it, you know the plastic is Type 1, PET (or PETE), which is one of the easiest to recycle plastics. If it has a 6, it’s PS (or Polystyrene), which is almost never recycled, including in our local borough of Swale.
Some good news is that members of the UK Plastics Pact, who include all the major supermarkets as well as many major brands, have pledged to eliminate both PS and PVC from their packaging by the end of 2020.
Is Your Recycling Recyclable?
We asked Swale Borough Council about what can and cannot be recycled. They came up with the following information:
A batch of recycling can be rendered unusable if just one item is not clean. For example a greasy pizza box is not recyclable and will contaminate the other recycling if it is not removed. Wet paper or paper that is contaminated with glue, sticky tape, paint, stickers, glitter or foam is also not recyclable.
Lid on / Lid off?
We asked Swale Borough Council if you should you recycle your tetra packs, jars and other bottles with the lid on or off?
They said the lids can be left on!
Food Containers with a Plastic Film
What about the recycling of food containers with a plastic film? Does every bit of the non-recyclable film need to be picked off? We asked Swale Borough Council and they said as long as the vast majority of the film is removed this is fine.
Always make sure your plastics are clean and dry. Black plastic cannot be recycled.
Plastics we can't recycle
We don't currently have the facility to recycle large rigid plastic items such as children’s play equipment. These are sent to be shredded and utilised as Refuse Derived fuel (RDF) within Europe.
The recycling in Swale is taken to the Viridor MRF in Crayford, who have made the video.
Non-recyclable (black bag waste) is taken to the Allington Waste to Energy Facility in Maidstone where it is incinerated to produce electricity. The Kent Enviropower website can be found here: https://www.fccenvironment.co.uk/kent-enviropower/
The only materials that are sent to landfill are asbestos as there is currently no method of recycling this material and badly decomposed marine carcasses that wash up on Kent’s beaches.