Wokingham Borough residents have proved themselves first-rate recyclers, but we now face a new challenge that needs everybody’s help to meet.
Due to global economic changes, recycling plants are no longer accepting wet paper and card and recent batches sent from Wokingham Borough have been rejected for being too damp – meaning they have ended up not being recycled.
The council will react quickly to this challenge and is looking at the best options, but nothing can be delivered immediately.
By the time a solution is found, hundreds of tonnes of potentially recyclable paper and card might go out of recycling loop – at significant environmental and financial cost.
So, in the short-term, the council is launching its ‘Stamp Out the Damp’ campaign to encourage as many residents as possible to keep their paper and card recycling dry.
Wokingham Borough Council director of customer and localities Sarah Hollamby said: “We know the people of Wokingham Borough are passionate about recycling and that is why we believe our Stamp Out the Damp campaign will be successful.
"We do realise we are asking people to go that extra mile to keep their paper and card dry but there are simple ways it can be done.”
Ways that will help keep your card and paper dry, when it’s wet outside, include:
-Cover your recycling box with something waterproof
-Keep your recycling inside if you have space
-Keep your recycling in your garage or shed
-Stack your black boxes with the paper filled one at the bottom
-Put your black boxes out on the morning of collection rather than night before
Despite the setback caused by this unforeseeable change in world markets, Wokingham Borough’s recycling has been soaring in recent months, with only about 1% of our waste now ending up in landfill and recycling rates of more than 55%.
The council is targeting a 60% rate – and keeping paper and card dry is essential for this.
“Food waste recycling has been a huge hit and has helped push our recycling rates up to unprecedented levels, and the way our residents have taken to that makes us confident they will also want to keep paper and card dry,” Sarah continued.
“Targeting 60% and higher is a tough challenge but we believe it is essential given the environmental crisis the world faces. As part of this we are taking stock of our current waste and recycling services and are reviewing potential options that help us boost rates – and solve the damp paper problem.”