Bright, colourful and eye-catching bins will appear in Telford Town Park from today, as a new on-the-go recycling initiative is launched by environmental charity Hubbub and Telford and Wrekin Council.
Telford and Wrekin #InTheLoop is a six-month trial that will make it as easy as possible for people passing through the park to recycle empty glass, plastic bottles and cans.
On-the-go waste continues to be a significant problem for authorities across the country. In 2019 an estimated eight billion drinks containers failed to get recycled in the UK. That means they were either landfilled, incinerated or littered. Despite COVID-19, the trend of on-the go consumption is set to continue, with an estimated 40% increase in the food-to-go market in 2021.
This new initiative in Telford and Wrekin is part of #InTheLoop, the UK’s biggest collaborative approach to boost recycling on-the-go, which was first trialled in Leeds in 2018, followed by similar trials in Swansea and Edinburgh in 2019. Across the three pilot projects, over 1 million plastic and glass bottles and cans were collected and recycled.
With Telford and Wrekin #InTheLoop, 25 new look bins will be positioned strategically across the award-winning Telford Town Park to encourage visitors to recycle on-the-go.
To keep contamination to a minimum, people are being urged to put items like coffee cups, dog waste and crisp packets in the general waste section of the bin and to think “if in doubt, leave it out”.
Telford and Wrekin Council will be working with Hubbub to measure the impact and effectiveness of the new bins. The results and learnings from Telford and Wrekin #InTheLoop will contribute to the development of a blueprint for other local authorities to benefit from.
Once the Telford Town Park pilot has proved successful there will be a rollout across the borough, starting with Oakengates and Newport with others to follow, to make it easier for residents to recycle on-the-go in other district parks and high streets.
Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub, said: “We’re really excited to bring #InTheLoop to Telford and Wrekin. Through our eye-catching bins, we want to give residents, workers and visitors a better and easier opportunity to recycle while out and about. We’re urging everyone to use the new bins and help us ensure that as much valuable packaging is recycled as possible.”
Cllr Lee Carter, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial and Regeneration, said: “Now that we’re all so used to recycling our waste at home, it feels right that we should also be able to recycle when we’re out and about. We can save all that recyclable rubbish from being incinerated thanks to these new ‘recycling on-the-go’ bins.
“Thanks to residents using the simple recycling services at home, our recycling rate increased to 47% in 2019/20 and now correct use of these bins will mean more of our borough’s rubbish gets recycled which is good news for the borough and the environment.”
Cllr Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment, said: “As a progressive council, we have prioritised protecting our natural environment, and we are committed to taking a leading role in tackling the climate emergency.
“Over the last few years we have ramped up our focus and investment in this area, most recently creating a Climate Change Fund to support local organisations in their carbon reduction activities, and jointly funding the installation of these new recycling bins in our town park.
“This week, we have announced that we will be going even further, with an additional £4m committed to our work in the borough to help tackle climate change.
“We have set an ambitious goal – to make Telford and Wrekin carbon neutral by 2030 – but with help from our community and our partner organisations, we will achieve it.
“I would like to encourage all borough residents to continue recycling responsibly and make use of these new bins when visiting Telford Town Park. We really appreciate everyone’s support in helping us make a better borough.”
Chris Pettman, Chair of Friends of Telford Town Park said: “I’m delighted the council is investing in the park in this way. The bins look great so I’m optimistic that people will make good use of them. It would be terrific to see this campaign increase recycling rates and reduce the borough’s carbon footprint, plus of course we welcome all initiatives that help to keep the park clean and tidy.”