Southend residents: keep up the good (recycling) work!

Date: March 2021

Southend residents: keep up the good (recycling) work!

Yearly, this accounts for 11,894 tonnes of recyclable material collected from the kerbside and taken to Veolia’s Materials Recovery Facility in Southwark to be sorted and reprocessed. 

Despite a majority of residents putting the right things in their pink recycling sacks, wrong items are occasionally spotted during the sorting process. The most frequent items wrongly found in pink sacks are food waste, hard plastics (such as toys and plant pots), textiles, sanitary products and electrical items. Putting the wrong items in the pink sacks makes it much more difficult for the operators at the Materials Recovery Facility to sort the waste and it increases their risk of injury.

In order to be a top recycler, residents in Southend should remember to always rinse their food and drink packaging before placing them in their pink sacks. Plastic films can be put in the pink sacks but thick plastic such as kids toys need to be taken to one of the Household Waste and Recycling Centres. Don’t forget Veolia collect paper and card, food waste, textiles, and small electricals from the kerbside but they need to be placed in the right containers or sacks. Food caddies and blue paper and card boxes can be ordered free of charge using the MySouthend portal. Textiles should be in clear sacks or bags.

A new digital campaign launched by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in partnership with Veolia aims to bust common recycling myths and help residents clarify any doubt they may have about what items can be recycled from the home. 

Stuart Atkinson, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia said: 

"In 2020, despite the challenges brought by the Covid pandemic, Southend residents kept on recycling and we saw an increase in the amount of recyclable material presented at the kerbside. 

“When it comes to recycling, quality is better than quantity.  So putting your paper and card in your blue paper and card box instead of the pink sacks can make a real difference to that all important quality. Your recycling efforts are helping preserve valuable resources and we are hoping that this campaign will further improve the quality of the recycling we collect. Remember, food goes in the blue food bin and paper and card goes in your blue box. And if in doubt, leave it out!”

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: 

“I would like to thank all our residents who make the time and effort to recycle so diligently. I am pleased to see such a high percentage of our residents are recycling and encourage the small percentage who do not currently recycle to do so.

“I would also like to thank Veolia staff for their hard work in ensuring residents have the appropriate information on what can and cannot be recycled.

“If you are unsure how to recycle responsibly there are directions on the pink sacks and waste boxes to inform you what should and shouldn’t be placed inside. You can also visit the Council’s website at to get information on how to recycle specific items if you are unsure. You will be hard-pressed to find something that isn't listed there”

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