Household recycling

Improving recycling in Swindon

There are many things we can do as a council and a resident to improve recycling rates in Swindon. We have been set a target by Government to recycle at least 50% of all household waste in Swindon by 2020 and we would like to do much better than that. Our neighbours in Oxfordshire consistently recycle over 60% every year and we currently recycle around 38%.

In addition, every tonne of wheelie bin waste costs the taxpayer £120, around £6.5million per year.

A lot of recyclable material is currently still found in wheelie bins. For example, last year 1,556 tonnes of metal cans were found in wheelie bin waste. If they has been placed in a recycling box it would have saved almost £190,000 in disposal costs, as well earning an income as a valuable material.

Small changes with big impacts

  • Avoid plastic. Plastic is one of the hardest materials for us to recycle and so if you can avoid buying single use or unnecessary packaging there is less chance of it ending up damaging the environment as seen in Blue Planet 2
  • Love food hate waste. Food waste makes up about a quarter of your wheelie bin rubbish. Effective meal planning, storage and using left overs can significantly reduce the amount of food you throw away as well as saving you up to £700 per year. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for lots of helpful advice
  • Recycle more. Make the most of your recycling boxes and recycle all that you can. Most recycling comes out of the kitchen but don’t forget about other rooms in the house for example, all those shampoo bottles and toilet roll tubes in the bathroom and cosmetic bottles and aerosols from the bedroom
  • Love pre-loved. One mans rubbish is another mans treasure so try finding a home for unwanted items via charity shops, online auction sites or local swap groups before throwing away. Looking for second hand items before you buy new can also save you money and reduce packaging waste
  • Compost. Home composting can provide many benefits including free compost for your garden and you can also reduce your food waste further by composting uncooked vegetable peelings and eggshells. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the Garden Waste Collection Service for convenient fortnightly collections.    


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