Rutland councillors and residents tour recycling facility
Residents and Rutland County Councillors have toured a recycling facility in Leicester to see exactly what happens to the plastic, bottles, cans and cartons we dispose of in our grey bins.
All of Rutland’s dry mixed recycling is taken to Casepak in Leicester, where it is sorted using state-of-the art procedures, including optical scanners and air jets, alongside manual sorting.
The sorted material is then sent to various reprocessors to re-enter the manufacturing process and be made in to new products.
A small amount is also used as fuel by construction companies including Hanson Cement in Ketton.
Casepak’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) is one of the UK’s most technologically advanced facilities.
This means Rutland’s recycling is the highest quality it can be and helps to ensure materials can be re-used as soon as they reach their intended destination, without the need for further processing.
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley, portfolio holder for Waste Management Coun Gordon Brown, and Ward Member for Cottesmore Richard Foster were joined by residents with an interest in recycling and protecting the environment to tour the Casepak facility.
The trip was organised so they could see first-hand what happens to the 4,000 tonnes of recycling collected in Rutland every year.
Lee Bradbury, MRF operations manager, said: "We were delighted to welcome Rutland councillors and residents to visit our MRF.
"It was a great opportunity for them to see behind the scenes, and everyone was particularity interested in what happens to the material once it arrives here.
"We hope the visit will encourage everyone to recycle as much as they can to help increase recycling rates in Rutland."
Currently, more than half off all household waste in Rutland (57.8 per cent) is recycled.
Rutland County Council has a target to reduce household waste and increase recycling rates and also aims to end its own consumption of single-use plastics, like straws and water cups, by early 2019.
Coun Brown said: “We know the harmful effect that plastic waste has on the environment.
"This is one of the reasons why we’ve fought hard to maintain a comprehensive recycling service that collects the widest possible range of plastics, and why the council, as an organisation, is aiming to do away with all single-use plastics by 2019.
"We’re also proud to say that none of Rutland’s household waste goes direct to landfill.
"Everything you put in your black bin is sent to a special facility in Nottingham where it’s treated to recover energy and generate electricity.
"A small amount of what’s left over following the energy recovery process (just 6 per cent) goes on to landfill. Around 20% is re-used by the construction industry – for things like road building.”
Rutland collects most different types of household plastics, with the exception of black plastic because it remains very difficult to recycle.
All recycling should be clean and dry before it is put into grey bins.
It is also important that recycling is placed loose into bins and not disposed of inside bin bags, as this can lead to disruption and delays when processing.
In addition to collecting the recycling that residents put in their grey bins, Rutland County Council operates two large recycling centres in Morcott and Cottesmore.
Councillor Gordon Brown added: “Recycling is hugely important for the environment – we want to be a ‘green’ county in every sense and protect what we have for future generations.”
Rutland residents can find out more about what to recycle, where and how by visiting here.