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Reuse and recycle

Where are we now?

We carried out a Waste Composition Analysis in 2014 and found that the average household produces almost 9 kg of general waste (green-lidded bins) per week. Of this, almost 20% could have been recycled in either the blue-lidded recycling or brown-lidded garden waste bins! This means that we could be recycling a lot more than we currently are.

The main findings of our analysis were:

  • Households presented an average of 15 kg total waste per week
  • 9 kg of waste per household per week was in green-lidded bins
  • Just over 3 kg per household per week was in blue-lidded recycling bins
  • Approximately 3 kg per household per week was in brown-lidded garden waste bins
  • Food waste makes up 37% of our green-lidded bins (3.25 kg per household per week), the largest component of our waste
  • Plastics make up 13% of our green-lidded bins (just over 1 kg per household per week)
  • Just over 1% of green-lidded bins was deemed to be either hazardous or WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)
  • 7% of green-lidded bins consisted of disposable nappies
  • 18% of green-lidded bins could have been placed into blue-lidded recycling bins
  • 2% of green-lidded bins could have been placed into brown-lidded garden waste bins
  • Packaging made up approximately 17% of all collected waste
  • Overall, only 64% of the materials that could be recycled using kerbside collections were recycled
  • Approximately 7% of blue-lidded recycling waste could not be collected because the bins had things that weren’t recyclable in them, or the recycling was too dirty
  • The most common reason that recycling couldn’t be collected was because it still had food or liquid waste on it
  • Below 50% of plastic bottles and only 16% of plastic containers that could be recycled were recycled!

Overall, households in Coventry recycle almost 36% of their waste. In 2000 we only recycled approximately 10% of waste. This is a huge increase, however, we need to do more in order to meet the current EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.

If we….

  • …recycled everything that could currently be collected at the kerbside (in our blue-lidded and brown-lidded bins), we could be recycling 48% of household waste
  • …all took part in home composting and recycled everything that could currently be collected at the kerbside, we could be recycling 57% of household waste
  • …didn’t waste any food and recycled everything that could currently be collected at the kerbside, our collections could be 3.25 kg (22%) lighter every week, and we could be recycling 64% of household waste!

To find out more about what you can do to help us recycle, please see our Going greener page, or the Coventry Recycling Club.

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