Epping Forest District Council has expanded its recycling service to include empty aerosol cans, such as those used for deodorants and air fresheners, plus aluminium foil trays, such as those used for take-away food, pie cases and oven-ready meals.
The carbon-busting move, which was rolled out last year, is expected to prevent an estimated 1,435,752 aerosol cans and 9,678,032 foil containers from ending up in local landfill sites every year.
Councillor John Knapman Portfolio Holder for the Environment says: “This service is great news for households who want to do more to help the environment. It answers calls from many local residents to increase the range of items they can recycle at the kerbside.”
He continues: “The aluminium and steel used in these containers can be recycled endlessly without losing quality, so this is a really effective way for households to help reduce carbon emissions, save energy and ease the pressure on our landfill sites for waste disposal.”
Epping Forest District Council is advising households to ensure that aerosols are completely used up before they are put in the clear recycling sacks. The containers should not be pierced, crushed or flattened and loose or easily-removable parts, such as the lid, should be removed first. Foil containers should be rinsed clean before recycling.
Local resident Mrs Joyce Plume from Buckhurst Hill said: “I’m really pleased that the recycling scheme has been expanded. We don’t use many aerosols or foil trays but I’ve always hated throwing them in the rubbish. It’s great that we can now put them in with our other recycling.”
According to Alupro, the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation, consumer demand for local authorities to include aerosols and foil containers in their recycling collection services has never been higher.
Alupro executive director Rick Hindley says: “Metal food and drink cans are already a familiar sight in most household recycling sacks but it’s great to see that Epping Forest District Council is collecting aerosols and foil trays, too. You might not think that you use many of these materials but in fact more than 580 million aerosol cans are used in the UK each year and the average household gets through 182 foil trays – so it all adds up to a lot of valuable, recyclable metal. This scheme has huge potential to save local energy and resources.”
He continues: “People have aerosols lying around all over the house – under the kitchen sink, on dressing tables and in the bathroom. Foil packaging is equally common, as it is used for everything from take-away trays and pie cases to oven-ready meals. All these items can be recycled, so we’d remind households not to leave any stone unturned!”
Alupro has teamed up with a range of leading manufacturers and retailers to launch a national campaign aimed at helping local authorities to follow Epping Forest District Council’s lead, by launching aerosol and foil recycling collections in their areas.
The campaign is backed by the major aluminium foil container manufacturers Coppice Alupack, Jena and Nicholl Food Packaging, Unilever – producer of leading personal care brands including Lynx, Dove and Sure – the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) and steel packaging recycler Corus.