What do crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and baby food pouches have in common? None of them are covered by our council blue bin recycling scheme because they’re made of mixed materials which are difficult to separate. They therefore end up in landfill.
The good news is that there are an increasing number of local drop off locations where you can take these items. Companies like Walkers and Garnier have sponsored schemes with Terracycle, who specialise in difficult-to-recycle products. The material gets melted down to make plastic pellets which can then be used to manufacture fence posts, garden furniture, school playgrounds and wheelie bins amongst other things.
The advantages are obvious. Fewer items in landfill, more re-use of materials. And on top of that, a donation is paid to a nominated charity, for the waste collected. And we, the public, get to feel that we can do something practical, however small, to make our environment better. Everyone’s a winner.
Who Takes What?
The newly opened Pedrick’s Zero-Waste Shop in Caterham Valley takes crisp packets, Ella’s baby food pouches, biscuit and cake wrappers, home hygiene (Finish and Vanish products) and beauty products, including hair and skin care. Please look for details on their website to check out the long list of possibilities and to be sure of what is covered: https://pedricks.co.uk/pages/terracycle
You can also drop off your crisp packets, any make and any size, to the Village Club and outside Verlands, just before Woodlea School, on Long Hill. The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will benefit.
The RSPCA South Godstone Animal Centre takes tooth brushes and oral hygiene products, as well as towels, bed sheets, duvets without feathers, flannels, bath mats and pillowcases.
Hillcroft School, Caterham 01883 342606 take pens and felt tips.
You can send or deliver clean Tassimo, L’Or and Kenco pods, coffee bags and jar lids as well as clean pet food pouches between 9-12.30 each day to 3 Leith Hill House, Stockton Road, Reigate RH2 8JQ for Surrey Bat Rescue.
Coolings Garden Centres in Knockholt and Wyche Cross take black plastic flower pots and trays: http://www.coolings.co.uk/
Wyatt and Jacks are a company on the Isle of Wight and will turn your punctured summer lilos and bouncy castles in to stylish, colourful bags and rucksacks: https://www.wyattandjack.com/
For the full range of free, national recycling solutions for typically difficult-to-recycle waste streams, go to https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades.
This article is also available in The Woldingham Magazine, November 2019 p41