Cllr Leppington with recycling

Forest of Dean households encouraged to ‘get real about recycling’ as national Recycle Week kicks off

As national Recycle Week (17-23 October) gets underway, Forest of Dean District Council is getting behind this year’s Recycle Now campaign - ‘Let’s Get Real About Recycling’ - to improve the quality of the materials which are presented for recycling and to make the recycling process more efficient.

During Recycle Week households up and down the country are being encouraged to check before they chuck to prevent contamination which lowers the quality of the materials that are destined for recycling and to not ‘wish-cycle’ – that is putting the wrong items into the recycling merely in the hope that they will eventually be recycled.

Councillor Richard Leppington, Cabinet Member for Finance and Waste at Forest of Dean District Council, said: “More and more people are worried about the environment and asking what they can do to help protect the planet and conserve resources. Recycling is one action that people can take but this year’s campaign is about making sure householders use their services correctly. Putting out the wrong items can actually make the process of recycling less efficient by taking materials to facilities that do not accept or want certain items - creating unnecessary vehicle emissions - and collecting items that can cause problems during the sorting process.

“It’s not always easy to see what each box, bag or caddy contains and whether the wrong thing has gone in. Given each recycling crew will visit about seven to eight hundred properties in the course of a working day, it’s time consuming to thoroughly check everything that is being presented but residents can really make a difference by ensuring they only put out the items we ask for. Getting it right also maximises the income we can get for the materials; money which can then be put back into running the service.” 

The Council reports that contamination is not isolated to its kerbside collections with one of the most wide-spread problems being the presence of bagged recycables in the recycling banks. Stretchy plastics such as carrier bags, black sacks and film can easily become wound around machinery as materials are sorted at the recycling facilities with the potential to stop the process. To maintain the quality of materials, items must be loose with as few contaminants as possible.

Residents who are uncertain about what items are currently accepted by the District Council are encouraged to check the back of the annual recycling calendar, which gives a clear guide, or consult the Council’s website:

The Recycle Now online Locator tool can help householders find the right way to recycle their unwanted items, including items not currently accepted by the District Council, and their nearest drop off points. Find the Locator at: 

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

Notes to editors

Photo shows: Councillor Richard Leppington, Cabinet Member for Finance and Waste at Forest of Dean District Council.