Residents urged to recycle more metal

Robert Thompson, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council's community services committee, supporting the council's new metal recycling campaign. (s)
Robert Thompson, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council's community services committee, supporting the council's new metal recycling campaign. (s)

“Make Metals Matter” is the name of a new recycling bid backed by Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Residents are being encouraged to recycle their share of the estimated 30 million cans, aerosols and foil trays, and more than 3.5 million metres of wrapping foil, used in the UK every year.

The council has leafleted the borough’s 25,529 homes and put signs on the side of its refuse collection vehicles.

And an exhibition at the council offices in Church Walk, Clitheroe, featuring a competition to win £200 in shopping vouchers by guessing the number of cans in a bale, will run until tomorrow (Friday) before switching to the Old Station Buildings in Longridge until Friday November 27th.

Metal packaging can be recycled numerous times, saving money and the environment, but research has shown that many consumers are not aware of it.

Now Ribble Valley Borough Council has joined forces with Lancashire County Council and the metal packaging manufacturing industry to raise awareness of metal recycling and increase the amount collected from households.

Robert Thompson, chairman of the council’s community services committee, said: “If all the metal packaging used in Ribble Valley each year was recycled, it would save around 1,796 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to the annual emission from 440 cars.

“We are calling on residents to recycle more of their metal packaging and every recycled can saves enough energy to run a television for four hours, so putting them in the blue wheeled bin can make a big difference.”

The campaign is funded by Metal Matters, a partnership of the UK’s producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging, along with Lancashire County Council, and run by Global Renewables Lancashire and aluminium packaging recycling organisation Alupro.

Rick Hindley, executive director of Alupro, added: “It is great to work with Ribble Valley Borough Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging across the borough.

“The Metal Matters programme has delivered significant increases in the volumes of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we are aiming to repeat and hopefully better this in Ribble Valley.”

FACT FILE

l Aluminium is one of the world’s most abundant elements and is found in rocks, soil, vegetation, water and even the air.

l Aluminium is a lightweight, but strong metal that does not rust or corrode and is easily made into complex shapes for a wide range of products from greenhouses to skyscrapers.

l In 2010/11, 250,000 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in the UK with a value of £27 million and the weight of 35,700 adult bull African elephants.

l Metal cans are 100 per cent infinitely recyclable and can be back on the shelf in just 60 days.

l The UK produces over nine billion drinks cans every year, of which 80 per cent are made of aluminium.