Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council have joined forces with the metal industry and Zero Waste Scotland to boost recycling rates for metal packaging.
The local authorities are taking part in the Metal Matters campaign, which is designed to support councils which offer a kerbside recycling collection by encouraging residents to make full use of their local service.
Drink cans, food tins, pet food tins, empty aerosols, aluminium foil, foil trays and sweet tins can all be discarded in the authorities’ kerbside black boxes.
The average household uses around 600 food and drink cans, 280 foil trays, 27 aerosols and dozens of metres of household foil every year. Although all these items can be recycled using the black box, statistics show that less than half are being recovered, meaning valuable materials are being lost to landfill.
The eight week campaign will see leaflets sent to households across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Radio and newspaper advertisements will also be used to help spread the message.
Waste collection vehicles in both local authority areas will also carry the ‘Make Your Metals Matter’ message and town centre roadshows will be held to provide residents with more information about the campaign.
Aberdeen City Council Waste and Recycling Manager Peter Lawrence said: “The campaign focuses on the message that metals can be recycled infinitely, so the food can or foil tray you recycle today could be transformed into an infinite array of products. This could be anything from vehicle parts to the latest high tech gadget, or even another can – each and every time it is sent for recycling
“Although our recycling service includes all types of metal packaging we are currently only capturing a fraction of this through our kerbside collections. We hope this campaign will remind residents that there is more metal around the home that can be recycled and we would urge them to extend their recycling habit beyond food and drink cans and include empty aerosols, foil trays and household foil.”
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “Over the last few years, we’ve been making it easier for residents to recycle an increasing number of materials, and metal packaging is an important part of this stream.
“I would encourage everybody to make the effort to recycle as many of these common household items as possible to help reduce waste and boost recycling levels.”
The Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire campaign is being part-funded by Zero Waste Scotland and the Metal Matters programme, which is a partnership made up of the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging.
Zero Waste Scotland Director Iain Gulland said: “Recycling metal is a perfect example of the benefits to be gained by treating our waste as a resource. Rather than sending our used drinks cans and food containers to landfill, by taking a simple step to separate it into a different bin for kerbside recycling, waste is transformed into another valuable item. Not only is this better for the environment, recycling also has the potential to boost Scotland’s economy by millions of pounds.”