South Gloucestershire Council shortlisted for recycling award

A campaign to help promote weekly food recycling collections in South Gloucestershire has been shortlisted for a Materials Recycling World National Recycling Award.

The national awards scheme recognise and highlight excellence and innovation throughout the recycling and resource management sector. Our scheme ‘Focus on food’ has been shortlisted in the Communications Award category.

The project came about following random sampling which showed that nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of waste put in black bins was food which could have been recycled and so we wanted to make food recycling easier.

The aim of the project was to increase awareness and participation in food waste recycling with a focus on promoting a change to our service; plastic bags could be used to line food recycling bins and caddies instead of buying compostable bags or using newspaper. The plastic bags can be removed during the recycling process.

Working in partnership with SUEZ, the waste contractor for the district, we promoted the weekly food recycling service through a range of channels including sending information to every household, stickers on black bins to remind householders that food should be recycled, issuing news releases and social media posts and we made a video to show how food is recycled. Roadshow events were also held at shopping centres to get the messages across to residents to encourage take up of the service.

Cllr Heather Goddard, Chair of Communities Committee, said: “Since we started the campaign we have seen an increase in the amount of food waste collected of around 1,000 tonnes. We also noticed more requests for food recycling containers over the 12 months following the change to plastic bags, so we are really pleased with the results.”

The West of England authorities teamed up last year to introduce the Feed Me and Win reward scheme to encourage householders to recycle more food waste by awarding vouchers to randomly selected households in each authority area. The partnership project has also been entered for an award.

A full list of shortlisted finalists can be viewed on the MRW National Recycling Awards 2016 website at https://nra.mrw.co.uk/finalists-2016

Watch our video about the food recycling process at www.southglos.gov.uk/foodrecycling

You can also view our short film showing the amount of recyclable material placed in the residual waste on the same link.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on July 6.

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