Check it before you chuck it launched with a little help from school children

Residents in Redcar & Cleveland are being urged to ‘Check it before you chuck it’ as part of a drive to increase the amount and quality of recycling in the borough.

Pupils from South Bank Primary School launched the campaign last week where council recycling staff put them through their paces on what can and cannot be recycled.

A fortnightly recycling collection is provided to residents in the area for cans and tins, cardboard, plastic pots, tubs and trays, glass bottles and jars and plastic bottles as well as a separate caddy insert to collect paper including envelopes, newspapers, magazines and catalogues.

Around 40% of recycling sent to the recycling centre in South Bank is contaminated and the council is appealing to residents to ‘Check it before you chuck it’ to ensure that plastic bags, food waste, clothes and textiles, nappies, takeaway boxes, polystyrene as well as electrical items and batteries don’t end up in their recycling.

Contaminated recycling has a significant environmental and financial cost as the local authority is effectively paying twice for the processing and haulage of the waste.

At the event South Bank Primary pupils, Harriet Philips and Gracie Forrest (pictured) explain why recycling is so important.

Year six pupil, Harriet Philips said:

“If we throw away plastic wrappers, animals might get hurt because of them. Waste can also hurt or kill ocean creatures as well because they might get stuck in the plastic we throw. Recycling is fun and awesome because you can do something that helps the environment which makes yourself feel good.”

Gracie Forrest, year four, added:

“Recycling can be good for plants, trees, and the earth. Waste is not really good because it can cause plants to die so it’s really good to recycle. Recycling is also very fun because we get to learn new things and tell people about them.”

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Housing, Cllr Barry Hunt, said:

“Recycling the waste material we produce makes sound economic sense as well as helping protect the environment.

“The recycling rate in Redcar and Cleveland for 2020/21 was 38% and we want to significantly increase this as well as reduce the amount of recycling being contaminated.

“The campaign helps to highlight these issues and we want to work with our residents to encourage them to recycle more and reduce the amount of contaminated material in their recycling.”

The benefits of effective recycling include:

  • reduces waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • prevents pollution
  • conserves natural resources
  • conserves energy
  • creates jobs and economic benefits.

Each additional tonne of recycled paper is equivalent to the energy saved to heat a home for six months and recycling an aluminium can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours.