Every Can Counts in Weymouth & Portland this summer

Out-of-home drinks can recycling programme Every Can Counts has partnered with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to promote on-street recycling to local residents and visitors.

Twenty Every Can Counts-branded can crushers have been installed across the borough in high footfall locations in and around the town centre and tourist sites . The can crushers are designed to make recycling easy, accessible and convenient, and complement recycling ‘twin bins’ for plastic bottles, cans and paper that have also recently been installed in the area. Of the twenty can crushers that will be installed, ten have been provided by the UK Can Makers, a funding partner of Every Can Counts.

With the population of Weymouth set to almost double as a result of visiting tourists, day trippers and spectators this summer, the council is using the Every Can Counts programme to help rise to the occasion and effectively meet the increased recycling needs.The can crushers will be supported by a promotions campaign to raise awareness amongst the local community and visitors.

After the summer, ten can crushers will remain in the area to help ensure Weymouth’s recycling efforts are maintained in the longer term. The other ten will be redeployed to support different projects promoting out of home recycling through the Every Can Counts programme.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is currently working towards a recycling rate of 60% in line with Dorset’s Waste Strategy. The Every Can Counts programme complements this and supports the council’s goal of increasing overall awareness of recycling as a way of life in Dorset.

Rick Hindley of Every Can Counts commented: “A very exciting summer lies ahead for Weymouth and we’re honoured to be working with the council to help the environmental message get seen, heard and acted upon. Meeting the recycling needs of the estimated 50,000 people set to visit the borough this summer is no small feat. It’s encouraging to see Weymouth and Portland Borough Council lead the way in keeping recycling front of mind for both visitors and local residents.”

The partnership builds upon previous successful Every Can Counts programmes running in nearby Bournemouth and Poole beaches, which inspired Weymouth and Portland to get involved. The investment in Weymouth and Portland almost doubles the number of Every Can Counts can crushers currently available in public places across the UK.

Councillor Ian Roebuck, Brief Holder for Environment and Sustainability at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “The Every Can Counts initiative is a great way to help more people recycle drinks cans. The fantastic can crushers located across Weymouth mean residents and visitors can recycle their cans whilst they are out and about easily and conveniently. I am sure that these can crushers will mean we will get more people involved in recycling.”

In addition to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Every Can Counts collection points can be found at over 1,900 sites including beaches, shopping centres, music festivals and outdoor events. The programme is funded by a partnership comprising UK and European drinks can manufacturers, the aluminium and steel packaging and recycling industries, and energy drinks brand Red Bull.

Two out of Three Aluminium Beverage Cans Recycled in Europe!

The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the EU 27* increased by 2.4% to 66.7% in 2010.

After the difficult economic situation in the previous years the consumption of aluminium beverage cans increased by a further 2 billion units to a total of 36 billion cans in 2010. This means that at least 24 billion aluminium beverage cans were recycled, resulting in a total greenhouse gas saving of 2.5 million tonnes – the equivalent of taking 1 million passenger cars off the roads for a whole year!

The European Aluminium Association has now reported for 20 consecutive years about the recycling results for the aluminium beverage in Europe. Back in the early Nineties, only 30% of all beverage cans were recycled. This figure rose to 52% in 2005, meaning that we are confident that we should be able to recycle 3 out of 4 cans by 2015 or thereabouts, with further growth potential for the years up to 2020

Several countries are already close to or even above this result, due to their highly efficient and well-established collection and sorting infrastructures (see annex – details per country).

Countries with well-managed ‘Green Dot’ systems usually collect aluminium beverage cans together with other metal packaging, and can easily sort out the aluminium fraction afterwards, for remelting by the aluminium recycling industry. This is even truer of deposit systems, which generate a clean fraction of used aluminium beverage cans that are immediately ready for recycling back into new cans or other valuable aluminium products such as window frames, bicycles or engine blocks, with an energy saving of 95% compared to primary production.

In order to capture the remaining cans, the aluminium industry, together with the beverage can makers, is focusing on cans that are consumed ‘outside the home’, for example at the workplace or at events and festivals. For this purpose we have developed the ‘Every Can Counts’ concept, which originally started in the United Kingdom and has meanwhile been introduced in France, Austria, Romania, and Hungary, and in the near future also in Ireland. ‘Every Can Counts’ points out the importance of recycling each and every beverage can, regardless of where its contents are actually consumed.

EAA continues to encourage the local authorities and waste management companies to improve existing collection and sorting facilities by using the latest available sorting technologies such as eddy currents and high-tech recognition systems, which can separate the aluminium packaging items from other packaging in a split second.

In this respect, EAA is very happy with the recent European Parliament report on ‘Resource Efficiency’, which calls on the Member States to encourage the use of such technologies. Additionally, the European Parliament recognized for the first time materials such as metals as ‘permanent materials’. Due to their characteristics, aluminium and other metals are infinitely recyclable, and are thus from an environmental point of view at an equal level with existing categories such as renewable and biodegradable materials.

MetalMatters launches to increase recycling rates in Scotland

MetalMatters has launched in Scotland with the support of the Scottish Government and funding from Zero Waste Scotland. The metal packaging industry-led programme is designed to increase the capture rate for metal packaging collected for recycling by households. It is hoped it will contribute to the Government’s vision of a Zero Waste society. MetalMatters is being rolled out initially in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils.

Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural and Environmental Affairs commented: “We are committed to increasing recycling rates in Scotland to 70% by 2025, as part of our Zero Waste Plan. We welcome the MetalMatters programme and look forward to it making an innovative contribution towards our goals.

“MetalMatters is also a great example of how industry and local authorities can work together to engage local communities, drive up recycling rates and also support further development of our waste management and recycling sectors.”

The current campaign, which is running across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, includes leaflets, which have been sent to every home across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, supported by radio and newspaper advertisements. Recycling vehicles in both local authorities will also carry the ‘make your metals matter’ message and roadshows in town centres and at major local events will enable residents to get more information about the campaign. The eight week campaign, which is managed by Alupro, is being jointly funded by an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and Zero Waste Scotland.

Zero Waste Scotland Director, Iain Gulland said: “Households already recycle a great deal of packaging and want to ‘do their bit’ for the environment. Educational programmes, like MetalMatters, are key to getting more people to recycle more often. We need a greater understanding at grass roots level that household metals are a precious resource rather than waste – metals are a good example, as they can be recycled endlessly without loss of quality. It makes sense to residents that they should separate and recycle all their empty cans, food tins, aerosols and foils.”

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Alupro added: “Scotland’s commitment to a Zero Waste society is something we are proud to be involved with and we welcome the support of both the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland. We are looking forward to seeing how the campaign develops and the impact it has on household metal packaging and attitudes to recycling.”

Alupro took over management of the MetalMatters programme in late 2011 and so far this year has launched campaigns in Northern Ireland, and Sefton Borough Council in addition to the Aberdeenshire and City programme.