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Worcester residents urged to double check green bin rules to help boost recycling rates

Published: 23 August 2023

Worcester residents are being urged to double check the rules around what can go in their green bin, in a bid to help boost the city's recycling rates.

The city's recycling is taken to the Envirosort Materials Reclamation facility in Norton where the materials are separated and despatched to reprocessors so that they can eventually be made into new goods.

Chair of Worcester City council's Environment Committee Cllr Karen Lewing and vice chair Cllr Zoe Cookson visited the site to find out more about how the recycling collected from green bins gets managed.

The councillors learned that around ten percent of the recycling taken to the centre is rejected as it contains non-recyclables which can contaminate the whole load.

Cllr Cookson said: "We were part of a group visiting Envirosort and although we are all committed to recycling, we all learned something that we didn't know about what can and can't be put in the green bin.

"Some of the details about what can and can't be put in is influenced by the sorting process – for example anything in plastic bags isn't recycled as there is a health and safety risk around staff opening bags. Plastic bottles or cans shouldn't be squashed before they go in your green bin as if they are flattened, then they're not recognised by the 3D scanner.

"Containers and other recyclable materials which have contained food or drink do need to be rinsed and dried, so that paper and card recycling does not have to be rejected. A new thing I personally learned is that cardboard needs to be cut to A3 size, this means that it fits easily into the green bin.

"Recycling is so important and it is reassuring to see Worcester residents using their green bins, but I think we can all do a little better to maximise our recycling rates and I'd urge everyone to join in – a few small changes could make a massive difference to our recycling rates as a city."

The Envirosort plant has been operational since 2009. The 7,000 sq.m building has capacity to receive and sort up to 105,000 tonnes per year.

Find out more about recycling.

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