Mid Sussex residents will soon be able to add more plastic items than ever before to their recycling bins.
From Wednesday April 1, household pots, tubs and trays will be accepted as part of the regular recycling collections across the whole of the county.
It means residents will be able to add things like yoghurt pots, ice cream tubs, fruit and vegetable trays and ready meal trays to their bins – but they must still be washed out and dried first.
It’s anticipated that recycling levels will see an increase of 4,000 tonnes per year by accepting plastic containers and will push recycling rates in West Sussex to just over 42%.
It will also bring additional financial benefits to the county, via a reduction in landfill tax payments which is currently £82 per tonne of waste delivered to landfill.
Increased quantities of good quality recycling – that’s correct items which are also clean, dry, loose - provide better value for money than sending rubbish to landfill. It also helps to conserve valuable resources.
The sale of plastic collected will also produce an additional income which will be shared between the West Sussex Waste Partnership, which is made up of the County Council, District and Borough Councils and Viridor, the county’s recycling contractor.
David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “This is absolutely brilliant news for people in West Sussex.
“This is something we know our residents want. Why we can’t recycle items like yoghurt pots is one of the most common questions we get asked so we are confident these changes will be welcomed.
“All we ask is that you make sure your recycling is clean, dry and loose. Items that have left over food and drink cannot be recycled and could ruin the quality of other items you’ve put in your bin and we’d hate to see your efforts go to waste.”
From the start of April, plastics that can be accepted in your recycling are:
• Milk and drinks bottles;
• Bathroom bottles;
• Laundry/detergent bottles & tubs;
• Yoghurt, cream & soup pots;
• Ice cream & margarine tubs;
• Cosmetic pots & tubs;
• Food & ready meal trays;
• Fruit & vegetable punnets; and
• Plastic container lids (such as those used on coffee jars).
But there are still a few plastic items that you can’t add to your household recycling collections. These include:
• Plastic carrier bags & plastic film;
• Expanded polystyrene;
• Plant pots & seed trays;
• Plastic toys; and
• Plastic furniture.