Oxfordshire to get real this Recycle Week

Oxfordshire residents are being asked to join this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Get Real’ about recycling for national Recycle Week 2022, which will challenge perceptions and myths about recycling to help improve it.

In Oxfordshire, we have a 59.5 per cent recycling and composting rate, which is above the national average of 44.4 per cent. However, to continue to tackle the climate emergency, Oxfordshire County Council is calling on people to do every little bit they can and get involved.

This includes checking in on if they are ‘wishcycling’ – putting something in the recycling bin in the hope that it will be recycled, even though it might be unsuitable, contaminated or only partially recyclable.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “Oxfordshire residents are already great at recycling, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to finding the best possible option for an item we no longer need.

“With busy lives and so many different types of items, packaging and materials, we know there are times when householders can be unsure if something is recyclable or not. Wishcycling can affect the combined quality of the recycling collected, and undo recycling carried out by your neighbours.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s online Waste Wizard search tool can help people put the right items in the right bin. Available on the council’s website, residents can type in their postcode and the item they no longer need to find out where it could be repaired or donated, or which kerbside bin or recycling centre skip it can go in.

There are many reasons why an item may not be suitable for recycling. Sometimes the machinery cannot identify and separate the material, or only part of an item may be recyclable.

Recycle Week is organised by Recycle Now, part of international climate action charity WRAP, and is now in its 19th year.

Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change at WRAP, said: “Last year was the most successful Recycle Week ever in terms of changing behaviour, with 82 per cent of people who saw the campaign content saying they had changed their behaviour as a result. We need to see that momentum continue.

“In 2022, we want to show why recycling is important in the battle against the climate emergency. We are focusing on helping people recycle more effectively at home, showing people how to overcome barriers and providing simple support.”

More advice and information about reducing the amount of waste produced can be found through Oxfordshire Recycles, which provides updates through different channels including Facebook and Twitter.

The partnership, which is made up of the county and district councils, has worked together to produce videos and key messages to highlight common contamination culprits in the recycling process.

These messages include promoting the SCRAP fly tipping campaign, which was launched earlier this year. It explains to people that they have a duty of care to ensure when they give their waste to someone else to remove, that it is managed appropriately and not dumped.

Asking for details of their waste carrier’s licence, a copy of the waste transfer note and for a receipt can all help ensure that waste doesn’t end up being fly tipped.

The county, city and district councils have also been working in partnership to support climate action as a whole and residents can find out how they can do their bit on Climate Action Oxfordshire within their budgets and busy lives.

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