Southampton to step up recycling

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has released statistics announcing England’s average household waste.

There was an increase in the official England waste from households recycling rate from 43.9% in 2015 to 44.9% in 2016.

From 2015 to 2016, England saw an increase in the percentage of materials recycled.
From 2015 to 2016, England saw an increase in the percentage of materials recycled.

However, as the release states, this statistic includes something new: “This rate includes for the first time the percentage of metal recovered and recycled from waste which has been through incineration.”

Southampton is looking to do its part in raising that rate even more by introducing new mixed recycling banks that can accept new materials that previously couldn’t be collected as part of the kerbside collection scheme.

These materials include plastic pots, tubes, trays and Tetra Pak style cartons.

New recycling banks located in seven locations across Southampton.
New recycling banks located in seven locations across Southampton.

The materials that are collected from these recycling banks will remain in the UK to be recycled into new objects.

According to the Southampton City Council website, once collected, “the mixed plastic waste is sorted and sent to a plastic reprocessing plant. Once at the plant it is graded before being shredded into flakes, which are then washed and cleaned. These are then melted and reformed into pellets, which are then sent off to be manufactured into products such as fleeces, toys and football shirts.”

The website also mentions that because plastic pots, tubs and trays are made up of a wide variety of polymers such as PS, PP, PET, PVC, and LDPE; they cannot be sorted in current Materials Recovery Facilities (located in Alton and Portsmouth) without significant investment in new equipment.

New materials that can be recycled include plastic pots, tubes, trays and Tetra pak style cartons.
New materials that can be recycled include plastic pots, tubes, trays and Tetra Pak style cartons.

A solution to this problem that would be cheaper than new equipment for the two existing Materials Recovery Facilities and will allow for these materials to be processed is a new £20 million “super” recycling centre that could be built in Hampshire.

This new facility would replace the two existing ones in Portsmouth and Alton, which would reduce expenditure in the long run. It is predicted that this option could save £7.5 million a year compared to other options such as updating the equipment of the current sites.

by Mason Benning (@MasonBenning)