November Article - When recycling at home, keep it Clean, Dry and Loose

Recycling is easy. We can recycle lots of items by placing them in our recycling bin at home. They will be sorted and separated at the Ford Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), it is then baled up and transported to re-processors for manufacturing into new goods and products. Items you can place in your recycling bin include paper and magazines, card, glass jars and bottles, plastic bottles, tubs and trays (including black plastic tubs and trays), metal cans and aerosols, foil (aluminium foil and foil containers) and cartons (including cartons used for juice, soup and milk as well as other cardboard cartons). All you need to make sure is that the items are Clean, Dry and Loose. 

CLEAN - free from food and drink leftovers, a quick rinse normally does the job.
DRY - keep your recycling bin lid shut and don’t leave cardboard outside of the bin to get soggy.
LOOSE – not in plastic bags, these get caught in our sorting machine and cause delays.

We ask that your recycling is kept clean as items that have left over food or drink in them can ruin the quality of other items in your recycling bin. This can then in turn spoil the recycling in the recycling lorries and at the materials recycling facility (MRF). Items that are covered with leftover food and drink cannot be recycled.

We ask that your recycling is kept dry, as when wet any paper and cardboard will become soggy and cannot be recycled. Glass will also stick to the wet paper and cardboard resulting in these items not being recycled. Also, during the process at the MRF wet paper and cardboard will stick to the machinery, clogging up the system and resulting in breakdowns and extra expenses.

Many of us are spending more time at home, so it’s a great opportunity to take a few moments to see what we are throwing away. Can we reduce it? Swap to reusable products? (We can also begin to see what we are regularly throwing in our residual waste bin. Is there anything you throw away regularly that you could swap out?) The West Sussex Waste Prevention team members have swapped cotton pads for reusable face pads that can be washed alongside clothing. All team members have completely stopped purchasing water bottles and hot drinks in paper or plastic cups. Being able to physically see what we throw away really helps us understand what we consume. Small changes make big impacts if we all work together!

So, before you buy it think; do you need it? Do you need to spend money on it? Then, before you throw think; it is it recycling? Have a look in your bins and see if everything is in a right place and that your recycling is always Clean, Dry and Loose.

For additional information on recycling at home see our videos on how Mia Recycles

Email with any questions, tips you have or advice you would like!

October Article - Food Waste and Covid-19

The last few weeks and months have been filled with questions and lessons: How do you make a face-mask? How to keep a harmonious atmosphere when locked in with family? How to make banana bread? How to use leftovers?

These questions have been searched by so many and every person has learnt something new. The positives that have come out of this tough situation are how we have all learnt to adapt and be creative. Many of us have created some of the best (and worst) meals during lock down, using tins that have been hidden for months. According to Wrap’s study on how consumer’s food habits have altered during Covid-19, we have learnt great lessons. Many people have begun freezing ingredients and whole meals so they don’t go out of date and can be used another time. Others have started making shopping lists consistently for the first time. Some are saving leftovers they never normally would and are getting creative with when to reuse them. Reducing everyone’s ability to shop and the possibility of product shortages has made us think differently about wasting things.

This has resulted in 36% of people in the UK stating they are throwing away less food. 36% is around 1 in 3 people who are saving money, helping the environment and stopping to think about food as something we should value more than what we currently do.

What the Waste Prevention Team have found most shocking on reflection is the amount of times per week the team would buy food. These food shops could have been the main shop, top-up shops, lunchtime meal deals when forgetting lunch, or, snack runs for an impromptu film night. Purchasing food around 4-5 times a week, not including possible restaurant visits. This wasn’t uncommon. We rush around, knowing we will be able to buy food whenever and wherever we are. This change has made us think. Wrap’s study also found frequency of shopping has decreased substantially, while the amount of food purchased per shop has increased. The food purchased has been more carefully considered, and thanks to creating a shopping list everything has been remembered!

So, going forward we have challenged ourselves to keep our new good habits. Like 47% of people surveyed, the Team will check in cupboards before shopping. Like 37% of people they will see if new fun meals can be created using random ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.

Our main goal though is to buy food less and only buy the food we need! This will save money, save the planet and save precious time.

What changes have you made in lock down? What changes will you be keeping?

Email: with any tips you have, or advice you would like!

Notice Date: 29/10/2020