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News in brief (29/07/2019)

By 29/07/2019News

With news on: West Sussex highlights missing recycling; Valpak and Recoup partner for schools project; Urbaser backs The Smallest Things campaign, and; Mitie secures Fife College contract.

West Sussex video highlights ‘missing recycling mountain’

A “missing mountain of recycling” is being highlighted in a video released by West Sussex county council.

The video illustrates a pile of waste towering over houses, representing the 22,000 tonnes of recyclable materials which are being disposed of in general waste.

West Sussex council is highlighting the 22,000 tonnes of ‘missing’ recycling from households

The local authority is asking residents to “Think Before You Throw” as it encourages them to tackle the mountain and thus save the council the money it spends on disposing of this waste, which it hopes to spend on other public services instead.

West Sussex claims each household puts 59kg of rubbish which could be recycled in the wrong bin – if materials were recycled correctly the council believes it could make savings of £2.5m.

Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment, said: “Waste disposal is expensive and it is far more effective to send materials for sorting and then on for recycling, than it is to dispose of rubbish.

“There are huge costs associated with waste disposal. By recycling more we can all help to reduce our impact on the environment and the cost which falls to West Sussex taxpayers.”

Valpak and Recoup partner for schools plastics campaign

Plastics recycling charity Recoup and environmental compliance specialist Valpak have visited a Norfolk secondary school as they launch a programme that teaches students how to recycle plastic.

Pupils at Diss High School took part in the #sortitout scheme, playing recycling games which taught them what can be recycled in their local area.

Valpak and Recoup have partnered on the campaign to raise awareness of plastics recycling in schools

Year 7 students were also given an assembly on plastics recycling, which was delivered by Recoup and sponsored by Valpak. Groups took part in follow-on workshops from this where they were given a wider understanding of the recycling process.

Mrs Glaister, a teacher at Diss high school, said students had responded well to the new initiative.

She said: “The enthusiasm following the assembly and workshops was clear to see; we appreciate the support given for recycling at Diss High School.”

As well as showing the young people what can be recycled, #sortitout also explains the plastics that should be kept out of the recycling bin.

Steve Gough, chief executive of Valpak, said: “Plastics are on everyone’s mind at the moment, and these workshops do an amazing job at helping the children to understand how plastics are made, how to identify the different types, and to give them ideas on how to keep plastic packaging out of the natural environment by recycling.

“We have supplied a dedicated bin to collect plastic bottles, so the pupils can recycle easily at school.”

Urbaser offers support for premature babies

Environmental services company, Urbaser, has agreed to offer extra support for its UK staff who are the parents of premature babies by introducing the Smallest Things policy.

Rochelle Francis, a customer services worker at Waltham Forest council has been offered support through the scheme

The Smallest Things campaign asks employers to provide parents of premature babies with extra leave, at full pay. Mothers and fathers of babies born at or before 37 weeks can have an extra week’s paid Premature Baby Leave for every week from their baby’s birth until their original due date.

Urbaser was encouraged to adopt the policy by Waltham Forest Borough Council, as part of a new contract to provide neighbourhood services in borough, which commences in Autumn 2019.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We’re pleased to lead the way and encourage our partners and contractors toward improving their offer to staff who are the parents of premature babies.

“Since we introduced the Smallest Things policy, we have been approached by other employers wanting to know more about how they might implement it for their staff. We are always willing to share our experiences and explain how it has benefited our employees as well as our residents.”

Mitie secures Fife College contract

Mitie has secured a five-year contract with Fife College, with the option to extend for a further two years. The contract includes the provision of cleaning and waste management services.

Mitie will be introducing one if its first electric vehicles to the contract, allowing for zero carbon emissions on travel between the five sites.

The company will also agree new recycling targets with Fife College and review avenues for change to increase the amount of material being recycled. Mitie will focus on reducing the amount of single use plastics and packaging at the site by introducing compostable materials at catering facilities and re-evaluating the current recycling facilities to allow for greater capacity.

Matthew Thompson, Managing Director, Cleaning & Environmental Services, Mitie, said: “We are proud to be expanding our long-term partnership with Fife College, to incorporate a range of eco-initiatives which support Fife College’s reduce, reuse, and recycle ethos.

“We are excited to add our waste management expertise to the contract as we continue to support the College in minimising its environmental impact.”

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Source: Plastic