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Happy Christmas - But Try to Avoid Foil Gift Wrap

December 14, 2012 5:03 PM

foil gift wrap

Epsom & Ewell Lib Dem councillors report that the borough's recycling is a long way from hitting its targets thus putting pressure on council taxpayer.

The system operated by the waste disposal authority (Surrey County Council) means that the borough gets "recycling credits". These offset the cost of waste disposal which, next year, will cost £72 per tonne to dump into landfill sites. Yearly tonneages are running at around 13,000 tonnes from Epsom & Ewell. Landfill costs the borough a huge amount of money!

Forecast volumes of recycleable goods are down 35% for cans and 13% for paper. Paper recycling is of most concern, as the loss of income could be around £40,000. Cans don't produce as much income from recycling companies but even this shortfall is expected to cost the borough £16,000 this year. The one area that is doing well is green waste recycling, where the volume is up and the income is set to improve by £6,000.

Cllr Julie Morris says "Please think twice about buying foil or plasticised paper to wrap Christmas gifts - it can't be recycled. Though our council is not going down this route, some are planning to inspect bins post Christmas to make sure they are not full of foil gift wrap. Any ordinary wrapping paper (which is white when torn) and without shiny patterns on it, can be recycled in the same bin as white paper and newspapers."

The Lib Dems says that the ideal gift wrap is recycled paper, which can be recycled again, but acknowledge that it's hard to find in the shops.

"Maybe the electronic age means that people are simply not creating the same amount of newspaper and magazines to recycle and that's why the tonneages are down. Also, it's tempting to put ALL paper into the same bin as cardboard and plastic bottles. I would urge residents to be fastidious about recycling white paper, newspaper etc. as there's a really good market for this. I'm sure people don't want to see council tax having to go up because we don't make the most of recycling opportunities" added colleague Cllr Alison Kelly.