National Recycle Week – from Monday 20 September–Saturday 26 September – is being supported by Wealden District Council.

Now in its 18th year, Recycle Week is a celebration of recycling, organised by WRAP – the Waste & Resources Action Programme charity – under the Recycle Now brand. The aim of this year’s campaign is to encourage all of us to ‘Step It Up’ in the fight against climate change through even better recycling habits.

“Residents in Wealden are doing a great job recycling; just over 48% of their waste was recycled in 2020/21, which is the highest recycling rate in East Sussex,” said Councillor Roy Galley, portfolio holder for waste management.

“We would like to thank all of our residents for their recycling efforts throughout the pandemic. We are aiming to work together to keep improving our recycling result.”

Data for the 2020/21 financial year in Wealden shows that despite the challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown, the percentage of dry recycling material – clean and uncontaminated recyclable materials – collected in the district increased by an amazing 13.1% compared to 2019/20.

At the same time, Wealden saw a rise in the overall amount of non-recyclable waste collected due to service disruptions and changed consumer behaviour. This means that despite the council’s increased recycling efforts, there has been a slight fall of the overall household recycling rate by 1.1%.

Going forward, the council does anticipate a gradual return to nearer normal levels of household waste and expects its overall recycling rate to bounce back to previous levels for 2021/22.

Latest research from Recycle Now reveals that almost nine out of 10 people now recycle. However, 55% of households put items in the general rubbish bin that can be recycled including foil, aerosols, and plastic toiletry such as shampoo and conditioner bottles, plastic trays and cleaning and bleach bottles. This is where residents are being urged to ‘Step It Up’.

The council says we can all help fight climate change by recycling more because recycling currently saves 18 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is the same as taking 12 million cars off the road.

There are some simple things everyone can do to make recycling even better.

Top tips for recycling in Wealden:

  • Recycle more of these items: shampoo bottles; empty deodorants, clean aluminium foil
  • Make sure these never go in the recycling bin: textiles, shoes, food waste, black plastic bags, food and drink cartons such as Tetra Pak and batteries*

*Household batteries can be placed in a separate bag on top of the rubbish bin or recycling bin for collection

For a full list of what can and cannot go in the recycling bin have a look at the Recycling Calendar or visit the council’s website and click on the ‘what goes in each container’ link.