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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Raising Our Game On Recycling

Friday, 21 September 2018

We’re proud of our commitment to recycling in Tameside. Thanks to the hard work of waste officers and residents, along with innovative schemes such as the Bin Swap, we have successfully increased our recycling rate to well above the UK average for local authorities. We’ve put that work in for a very good reason. Recycling is one of the best ways for us to make a positive impact on the environment that we all share. It’s also something that absolutely everybody can (and should) do.

That why next week, 24th-30th September, we’re teaming up with the other nine Greater Manchester councils to throw our combined weight behind Recycle Week 2018, a campaign to raise awareness of recycling up and down the country. This year I want to draw attention to plastics, an issue that has become an increasingly urgent concern in recent years as we’ve started to understand just how much of an effect plastic pollution is having on our land and seas.

Since plastics came out of the laboratory and into popular use in the 1950s, it’s estimated that as a planet we’ve generated over 6 billion tonnes of the stuff. Of all that colossal mass of plastic, just 9% so far has been recycled, 12% has been incinerated, and the remaining 79% has ended up in landfills or as litter. Since the overwhelming majority of plastics are not biodegradable, the negative effects of just a single piece of plastic in the environment can persist for literally hundreds of years. We’ve seen an example of this close to home as recently as March, when the University of Manchester found levels of micro plastic pollution in the River Tame that could pose a serious threat to all kinds of wildlife.

So if plastics don’t biodegrade, then what can be done with them? By far the best approach is to reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s possible to significantly reduce the amount of plastics we use and waste. Instead of buying plastic bags at the supermarket, bring your own or (even better) invest in a “Bag for Life”. When you go shopping, whenever possible try buying items with as little plastic packaging as possible. If your children are growing up and have some plastic toys they’ve grown out of, sell or give them away instead of throwing them in the bin.

Even if you only make small changes, when so many people are doing it at the same time it can add up to a massive impact. It’s that message that we want to get across on Recycling Week; recycling matters, you can make a difference, and you can start doing it now.

For all of next week, we will be providing residents with the information and resources they need to do raise their game on recycling. The Recycle for GM team will be touring around the region putting on informative pop-up events at Co-Op Food Stores, with Tameside’s event coming on Thursday 27th September on Fir Tree Lane in Dukinfield from 11am-3pm. The council’s own waste services will also be in Ashton Market Hall from 10am-3pm on Wednesday 26th September, offering residents advice about recycling and handing out free caddy liners to anyone who wants them. If you’re in the area for either of those events, I’d definitely encourage you to pay them a visit.  

People in Greater Manchester recycled almost 500,000 tonnes of plastic last year, but the simple fact is that we all still need to do more to prevent an environmental disaster. Instead of thinking that recycling items is about taking things out of the “normal” bin, we need recycling to be the first thought on our minds when it comes to sorting out the bins every week. I’m confident we will all be able to take the lessons learnt from Recycle Week and continue to build on our recycling success, for the good of Tameside and the environment that we all share.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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