Happy New Year to all our subscribers, both those who have followed us for several years and those who are new SORTED! readers. This month we have another opportunity to collect a complimentary roll of compostable kitchen caddy liners from your local library (see below), plus:
� Release of the long awaited national Resource and Waste Strategy
� Christmas tree disposal reminder
� What to do if you have lots of cardboard?
� What to do with wrapping paper?
� Get ahead and be an eco-Valentine
Central Government's Resource and Waste Strategy for England, waste policy
On 18 December, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) released their eagerly anticipated national Resources and Waste Strategy for England. To view the report in full click here.
SWP is recognised in the Strategy for its commitment to collecting quality materials for recycling through its kerbside collection service, how much it recycles in the UK (over 90%), and its innovation in bringing in separate food waste collections. Indeed, SWP is proud that it is the only local authority case study in the whole strategy.
Other points of note from the Strategy, which are subject to consultation include:
� Businesses and manufacturers will pay the full cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging, and a Deposit Return Scheme on drinks containers may be introduced.
� Weekly collections of food waste for all households – of which SWP was a pioneer.
� An emphasis on collecting quality materials and recycling them in the UK – which is part of SWP's DNA.
� Moves towards greater consistency in kerbside collections.
� Consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know how best to dispose of items.
� Increased repair and reuse (including reuse shops at recycling centres). SWP already has a reuse shop located on the Taunton site.
� Tax on packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic.
� A continued focus on reducing our reliance on single-use plastics, something SWP supports through its coordination of the Refill movement in Somerset and our Pledge against Preventable Plastic.
Christmas tree disposal
Once defrocked of their baubles and tinsel, real trees can be taken to your local recycling centre for commercial chipping and composting. If you subscribe to the garden waste service, put 6ft and under undecorated trees out for collection on your usual collection day from 7 January. Alternatively look out for charity collection or South Somerset residents can find details of their nearest local authority collection point here on SSDC's website.
If none of the earlier options are possible, as a final resort send your decoration-free tree to costly and wasteful landfill by putting it out with your rubbish collection between 7-18 January.
If the time has come to dispose of your synthetic Christmas trees, take it to any recycling site and check with staff for the correct skip.
Please remember that all kerbside recycling and refuse services return to their usual schedule from Monday 7 January.
Recycling a Christmas tree at a recycling centre
The kerbside recycling collection service was developed before the growth of internet shopping to help residents recycle their everyday cardboard packaging, such as empty cereal boxes. Unfortunately, once the truck's card container becomes full, the crews must return to their depot to unload, which risks rounds not being completed.
As there is limited capacity on the vehicles, we can only accept the equivalent of two recycling boxes worth of cardboard when flattened. The service is not designed for the bulk recycling of large boxes or sheets of cardboard from white goods, new kitchens or multiple on-line purchases. If your spending has generated a lot of cardboard, please either cut it up and put into your boxes over several weeks or take to a recycling site and use the larger capacity recycling skips.
Can you recycle festive wrap?
Did you know that not all gift-wrap can be recycled after the big day (Christmas or birthdays)? A lot of wrap is either low quality paper containing few good quality fibres or is a plastic laminate i.e. foil-backed. Some wrap is "contaminated" by plastic glitter, or, is so covered in sticky tape that it cannot be recycled.
Before recycling your wrap, scrunch it to check it is paper – if it springs back it is plastic and should be put in your refuse. If paper, remove sticky tape and decorations and recycle with cardboard.
A wrapped Christmas present
Share your love for the planet this Valentine
As soon as Christmas has been packed away, the shops try to sell you lots of Valentine's Day plastic. Here are our top tips for a more environmentally-friendly celebration:
�€� Remember to recycle your card – or cards!
�€� Avoid buying over-packaged cards and gifts.
�€� Look out for cards made from recycled materials or make your own.
�€� Give a recycled gift or an "experience", (spa, activity event, cookery course etc.), membership of an organisation or a ticket to an event that you can enjoy together.
�€� Buy a rose bush to plant or, if buying a bouquet, remember to compost it later.
�€� Compost torn and scrunched card from your chocolate box by adding it to your home compost (as long as the card has no metal or plastic on it).
Free roll of compostable food caddy liners
Following the success of our voucher in the Autumn edition of Somerset County Council's Your Somerset newsletter for a complimentary roll of compostable food liners suitable for lining your kitchen caddy, we have a similar promotion underway via our social media channels to encourage new SORTED! subscribers. If you are a loyal subscriber and have not yet had your complimentary roll, please take along a copy of this e-newsletter (electronically or in print) with this image, to your local library to receive your liners. This offer is available until Saturday 12 January.
Compostable liners help keep kitchen caddies clean. You can also line your caddy with newspaper if you prefer. Food waste collected at the kerbside is taken to the anaerobic digester at Walpole, which breaks down food to produce gases that generate electricity. The remaining "digestate" is used as agricultural compost. NB: the easiest way to separate liners from the roll is to scrunch together the bags either side of perforations and pull apart, rather than tearing along perforations