Oxfordshire launches Waste Wizard to help beat the confusion of recycling

There’s an all-new tool that has just been launched to help provide a magical solution to help Oxfordshire residents in their quest to solve the riddle of household waste.

Waste Wizard is Oxfordshire County Council’s response to the evil spell that no-longer-needed items sometimes cast over residents when it’s time to recycle or reuse them. It also aims to defeat the menace that is contaminated recycling which cannot then be processed. We know our residents try hard to recycle well but we can do more to drive up what we recycle; around 50% of what goes in general waste bins could be recycled.

Waste Wizard is a fun and interactive online resource that allows anyone puzzled by the bin to type in the name of any item along with their postcode to find out whether it can be reused, repaired, donated, recycled or if it needs to go into a specific bin or collection to be disposed of properly.

We know that one of the biggest barriers to good recycling is confusion over which product to put in which bin. Some of the most commonly confused materials are plastics, crisp packets, pizza boxes and coffee cups. Common items that contaminate kerbside recycling bins include textiles and disposable nappies. Overall, food is the biggest product that could be recycled that is put in general waste bins. Waste Wizard aims to clarify exactly what and where goods can be recycled or given a new life which will help us all to improve recycling rates whilst cutting waste.

Defeat the evil General Waste

Over 58 per cent of all waste is reused, composted or recycled in Oxfordshire compared to the national rate of 45 per cent. But there is more that can be done than graphics show; the Waste Wizard can help you beat General Waste.

The tool will be promoted online via social media with the Waste Wizard and its nemesis General Waste turned into retro video-game characters. And while in the pictures the Wizard tries to zap the General, in real life it can help to:

• Boost the number of items that get repaired locally

• Increase the amount of items reused or donated

• Cut the contamination in kerbside recycling collection bins (currently 10%)

• Ensure anything that can’t be reused, repaired or donated is properly recycled

• Explain the responsible disposal of goods that cannot be recycled or repurposed

It can be found online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastewizard

One Wizard for less waste

County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet member for Environment, said:

“There’s lots of different ways to get rid of waste but you only need one Waste Wizard to make sure you do the right thing.

“We have come a long way since the first thought on everyone’s mind was to put unwanted things in the bin. And even with doorstep collections for a wide-range of items there’s often better things you can do.

“Thankfully the Waste Wizard has all the answers and if you are unsure at any time you can ask for some words of wisdom.

Producing waste has an impact on your carbon footprint and the Waste Wizard can help to show you ways of reducing your impact on the environment with little effort.

Although Oxfordshire is the best area in the UK for recycling, but there is still more that can be done to make the most of what would otherwise be regarded as rubbish.”

Play the game