A new campaign will see home visits made across the county of Caerphilly, in order to let people know about the possibilities of recycling food waste.
Officials will be paying personal visits to every single home in the county as part of a concerted effort to raise the rate at which they recycle.
The campaign was trigged after a monitoring programme in Caerphilly picked out 7,000 random homes to survey. They found that only 38% of those homes were recycling, a figure which the council considered to be very disappointing.
As a result, council officials will now be visiting more than 80,000 homes personally, to talk about the benefits of recycling and how important it is that everyone does their bit.
It is hoped that this will help to increase the amount of food waste that is recycled rather than simply thrown away. The current estimate is that 7,000 tonnes of food waste is thrown away instead of being recycled in this county alone.
A Country-Wide Initiative
Wales is currently part of a movement towards better levels of sustainability, after leading the charge with the introduction of the 5p charge for carrier bags. As calls to make packaging even more eco-friendly go out around the country, this council is also doing its bit to help save the environment.
"If every household participated in recycling food waste, the council could save nearly £200,000 a year which could go towards protecting other frontline services,” says councillor Nigel George, the cabinet member for community and leisure services.
The Welsh government have now set clear targets for councils to meet by 2025, which seek for higher rates of recycling across all Welsh counties. They should be at 70% of all waste collected by that date, with an interim target of 64% by 2020. This is something that will be a big stretch for Caerphilly unless residents start to listen now.
The stakes are high for councils, who need to meet the targets in order to guarantee public spending budgets. They will see huge fines of up to £1 million imposed if they fail to meet the targets in a timely manner. That is one loss that they will certainly not want to face.
New Initiatives for the Food Industry
It’s clear that those with food industry jobs could also be doing more to encourage recycling.
Most food packaging already includes the recyclable symbol where appropriate, but the fast food industry is perhaps a little slower to catch on, with polystyrene packaging still a worry for most campaigners.
A move to increase recycling in the home will also mean more recycling for businesses, who should be careful to dispose of packaging and food waste in a sensible manner. Restaurants who are closing for the night, for example, should be considering food donations rather than throwing items out – something that can be put into place by chefs in the right positions.
Shops are also being called upon to be more sustainable with their practices, as large companies such as Tesco vow to consider the question of food waste and what can be done to reduce it. Food charities are becoming a more and more popular idea for getting rid of unwanted foodstuff.
Where recycling is concerned, it is something that we could all be more diligent about. Even those who always recycle at home may be tempted to simply throw packaging away when out and about. Measures are required to combat this and to make sure everyone knows the true value of recycling – and the penalties faced if the advice is ignored.
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