A CAMPAIGN encouraging people in Wiltshire to recycle more has scooped a national award.
Recycling: Let’s Sort It, run by Wiltshire Council, was named best communications campaign of the year at the LARAC Conference Celebration Awards, on October 11.
The LARAC (The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee) Conference is the leading event in the local authority waste and recycling calendar. Wiltshire Council was shortlisted alongside Oxfordshire County Council, Suffolk Waste Partnership and SWISCO Ltd – A Torbay Council Company.
Launched in February, the campaign aims to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of contamination in Wiltshire waste.
It followed an increase in items being put in the blue-lidded bins that can’t be recycled through the council’s kerbside collection scheme – and a list of items most commonly placed in recycling bins incorrectly has been published to help people avoid making the same mistakes.
Data for December 2022 showed more than 18% of materials sent to the council’s waste facility were items that were incorrectly put in the bin. However, following the start of the campaign, that decreased considerably, and in April 2023 the figure for input contamination reduced to under 10%.
Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for waste, said: “We are delighted to win this award for our work to encourage people to recycle as much as possible.
“Our Recycling: Let’s Sort It campaign will continue as it really gets to the heart of all that we’re trying to achieve as a waste service.
“We’ve asked that people make simple changes and ensure they are putting the right materials in the right bins, and that small change in behaviour helps make a big difference.
“Winning this national award demonstrates we’re making great progress and we’ll be working hard to see that continue. We thank everyone for their support.”
Some of the common items incorrectly placed in blue lidded bins include:
• Carrier bags and bin bags – put these in the general waste bin for energy recovery.
• Hard plastics, such as toys and plant pots – take these to a household recycling centre for recycling; or put in the general waste bin for energy recovery.
• Scrap metals – take these to a household recycling centre for recycling.
• Nappies – put these in the general waste bin for energy recovery.
The current focus of the Recycling: Let’s Sort It campaign is to encourage people to sort their waste out before they visit household recycling centres (HRC), ensuring items are separated correctly.
Council data shows more than a third of the items put in the general rubbish skips at HRCs could have been recycled.
To help people sort waste correctly, the council is gradually introducing designated sorting areas at each of its HRCs to give people the opportunity to sort their materials on-site as easily as possible – with staff on hand to provide advice and guidance.
For more information, including which centres currently have sorting areas, log on to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/hrc-waste-sorting.