From left, Harry Mcleman, assistant contracts manager at SUEZ; Kate Cole, programme manager for MetalMatters campaign from Alupro; Laura Bennett, SUEZ crewperson; Nicola Jones, packaging recycling education manager from Tata Steel; Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s Environment Portfolio Holder; Brian Moore, SUEZ crewperson and James Gatter, assistant site manager at SUEZ

Metal recycles forever!

East Devon’s award-winning recycling residents are being invited to step up to the challenge and recycle more cans and tins every week so the metal can be transformed into something new.

As part of national Recycle Week (September 24-30), the district council and its partners SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, are taking part in a campaign calling on residents to recycle more of their drinks cans, food tins, deodorant cans, aluminium food trays, foil and metal jar and bottle lids in their green recycling sacks, which are collected every week from the kerbside.

The district’s 69,000 householders are among the best recyclers in the country and now recycle around 63% of their waste through kerbside collections and recycling centres. Recently the district won an international Green World Ambassador award from the Green Organisation, which promotes environmental issues across the globe.

However, while our residents are recycling most of their metals they still put 200 tonnes of valuable steel and aluminium in their grey wheeled bins. If all this was recycled it would be the equivalent to taking more than 471 cars off the road.

Metals are the most valuable items that are collected in our kerbside recycling collections and the magical thing about metal is that it is 100% recyclable. There’s no limit to the number of times it can be recycled and turned into new things. Recycling metals is both good for the environment and saves money – recycling a can uses 20 times less energy than making a new one.

Over the next few weeks, residents will receive information through their doors as part of the MetalMatters campaign showing them the metals that they can collect, and explaining why they are so valuable and what happens to them. Supporting messages will be posted on social media and on twitter @eastdevon with the hashtag #mymetalsmatter. Three East Devon primary schools will also be involved in the campaign and over the next few weeks residents will be able to find out more at local roadshow events being held across the district.

All of the metals collected in East Devon are separated and baled at the council’s new sorting plant at Greendale Barton before being sent to processors around the country.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, is keen for householders to get on board. He said:

Metals can be recycled over and over again so we are asking residents to help us capture this most valuable resource by putting all of their metal packaging like tins, cans and foil into their green recycling sacks – it is good for our environment and good for our economy – so every can counts.

The MetalMatters programme is an industry partnership involving leading producers, users and recyclers in the UK and is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of these funding partners

If you’re interested in recycling more of your waste, why don’t you take a look at our website, which is packed with information.

The council also has a really useful smart phone app, which will send reminders about recycling and waste collection days tailored to your own address. The East Devon mobile app is free and is available to download for iphone users from the Apple App Store and for Android smart phone users from the Google Play Store.

For further information on East Devon’s recycling and waste service call us on 01395 571515.