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Residents urged to renew recycling efforts

Moorlands residents are being urged to renew their recycling efforts following a dip the district's performance which has seen it fall from its previous record as best in the country.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council won a national award in 2008 following the introduction of its recycling service - and it was the first council in the country to recycle or compost over 60% of the district's total annual waste.

While still good, performance has dipped since then resulting in increased disposal costs of thousands of pounds every week.

Now the Council has launched an initiative to get back to peak performance - and is asking residents to play their part by only leaving items in their recycling bins that are accepted on our scheme.

Councillor Arthur Forrester, cabinet member for the environment at the Council, said: "Here in the Staffordshire Moorlands we have an award-winning track record of excellence when it comes to recycling. That success is largely due to the efforts our residents have made and the enthusiasm with which they've embraced recycling.

"But, unfortunately, it is just that enthusiasm that is now causing us some serious issues with the service. We are increasingly finding that recycling loads are being rejected because people are leaving items in their bins that cannot be reprocessed or recycled by our contractors. This is leading to increased costs of up to £4,000 every week as the unwanted items have to be laboriously removed before wanted items can be recycled.

"Our collection crews have discovered items including microwaves, saucepans and even an electric iron left for recycling. Whilst we don't want to deter people from recycling it is critical that only acceptable items are left for collection."

The right materials for recycling include glass bottles and jars; plastic bottles, pots, tubs and food trays; food tins and drinks cans; foil food trays and aluminium baking foil; cartons such as Tetra Pak; empty aerosols; and cardboard packaging and flattened cardboard boxes. These items should be empty of food and drink, clean and dry so that the cardboard doesn't soak up moisture and clog up the machinery in the recycling process.

Items should not be put into grey bins inside carrier bags or black sacks as the plastic bags themselves are not recyclable by our reprocessor.

Councillor Forrester added: "We know from our past performance that we can be great at recycling and I'm sure that with a little renewed effort we can be again.

"I'm appealing to everyone to think twice about what they're recycling and to check if they are unsure. The message is clear - if in doubt leave it out."