KAREN CANNARD: How your recycling comes full circle

A personal view
A personal view
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How’s your bin? I know it’s a peculiar thing to ask but then again I’m often told that I’m a girl with a one-track mind when it comes to excitement over rubbish.

Anyway, I’m particularly excited this month thanks to changes to Suffolk’s recycling. You’ve probably heard already that we can now add food and drink cartons and aerosol cans to our recycling bins. I can almost feel the sense of relief amongst fellow residents, who for years have faced the choice of throwing them into the rubbish bin or finding a space to put them aside for a convenient moment to cart along to the recycling centre. And if you have any old metal pots, pans or trays, we can now include these too, as well as old books that aren’t good enough to pass on elsewhere.

The latest changes are all explained in the new leaflets that were delivered in the post recently. If you haven’t spotted yours yet, either get in touch with the council or visit Suffolk’s new website, where you can find out all you need to know at www.suffolkrecycle.today.

I rather like the new leaflet design and accompanying website, which are both fronted by a chirpy-looking binman called Bernie. It’s evident that Suffolk Waste Partnership is working hard to make recycling easier and help eliminate confusion.

And when it comes to confusion over recycling, much of this has traditionally been caused by a conflict between packaging labels and local information. As ever, I would urge readers to disregard any advice that’s printed on product packaging and to only use the council’s information as the authoritative guide.

After all, despite some good developments by many brands, there is still no consistency in information on packaging. That’s partly because there is also no uniformity of recycling services around the UK, so packaging labels are really just a reminder to recycle, providing a nudge to find out what your local services offer.

The latest information from Suffolk Waste Partnership shows clearly which packaging can be recycled in our county and for the first time this is consistent across all seven districts and boroughs.

Of course, one of the key materials that still can’t be recycled at our kerbside is glass. Although I find it inconvenient to store separately for the bottle bank, I am glad that after much analysis the council has made the decision not to incorporate it into our co-mingled bins. Recent legislation actually discourages the collection of glass with other materials due to contamination from breakages.

However in a bid to do more, Suffolk councils are looking to improve upon the already successful glass recycling bank network.

I’m now looking forward to seeing what happens next year. With a 53 percent recycling rate already beating England’s national average of 44.5 percent, Suffolk’s latest additions to household recycling services should make an even bigger dent to our remaining rubbish.

And we should definitely see an immediate difference to the amount of rubbish in our bins this Christmas, especially now that all those fruit juice cartons can be recycled after we’ve finished our cocktails. Don’t forget those canisters of squirty cream, fake snow and glitter spray too. And take note gentlemen, one definite way to ensure your Lynx Effect lives on once the festive season ends is… to recycle that old can.

Now there goes my one-track mind again. But thankfully it’s circular not linear. And what excites me most is that all this stuff could be back on our shelves very soon after Christmas.

Now that is most certainly worth lots of cheer with a festive ho ho ho!