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Brighton Journal | 12th November 2019

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Local councillor creates recycling guide to help residents recycle properly

Local councillor creates recycling guide to help residents recycle properly
Lauren Nicolle

Elaine Hills, ward councillor for the Hanover and Elm Grove area, has created a recycling guide which will feature in the next issue of the Hanover Directory. 

Elaine created the guide in response to a lot of frustration and confusion about what can be recycled and where, to let the residents of Brighton know she is listening.

The confusion stems from Brighton’s strict recycling rules, which doesn’t allow residents to recycle a wide variety of plastics.

In 2003, the council signed a contract with the recycling company Veolia. Veolia refuses to collect a wide variety of plastic waste, only agreeing to recycle plastic bottles and refusing to recycle items such trays, trubs, punnets and plastic bags.

The company have been accused of refusing to adapt the 30-year contract to allow Brighton and Hove council to collect more plastic waste, meaning that ‘proper’ plastic recycling in Brighton might not incur until 2033.

Education about what can and can’t be recycled in Brighton is severely lacking, with many residents mistakenly putting unrecyclable items in their recycling boxes.

Elaine says recycling boxes are considered ‘contaminated’ if over 10 per cent of the contents are not materials recycled by the council.

This has sparked fear among residents and council members that large quantities of plastic waste are being sent to landfill or to be incinerated.

Elaine hopes that this new recycling guide will prevent this contamination from occurring and will improve Brighton’s recycling rates, which are currently ranked 317th out of 345 councils in the country.

To read more about Brighton’s recycling problem and the global plastic epidemic, please click here.

For more information about what can and can’t be recycled, please visit the council website.

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