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Time to make your metals matter

Published October 11, 2018 3.29pm

Over 287 million cans, foil trays and aerosols are used every year in County Durham.

Make Your Metals Matter launch

Representatives at the launch

We are determined to make sure every last one makes it into the blue-lidded recycling bins so that they can be transformed into something new.

Teaming up with the metal packaging manufacturing industry, we have launched the 'Make Your Metals Matter' campaign, targeting all households across the county.

Over a year, the average household uses approximately 600 food tins, 380 drink cans, 27 aerosols and 182 foil trays - but less than half of these items are going to be recycled.

If all of the metal packaging used in County Durham was recycled each year 7,773 tonnes of carbon dioxide would be saved, the equivalent to taking 1,650 cars off the streets for a year.

Residents should be on the lookout for two sets of leaflets that will be coming through their doors which aim to provide guidance on how to recycle metals correctly.

Not just in the kitchen

Oliver Sherratt, our head of direct services, said: "Our residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste which is great news.

"We want to encourage all our residents to think about metal packaging found throughout the home, not just in the kitchen but also in the bathroom, bedroom and garage. Food and drink cans, foil and empty aerosols are all easily and endlessly recyclable.

"Don't forget every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours, so a small action, such as putting your empty baked bean tin into your blue-lidded recycling bin, can make a big difference."

95 per cent of energy saved

Used metal packaging can be recycled into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials. Making cans from recycled material saves up to 95 per cent of the energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, needed to make both aluminium and steel from scratch.

The campaign is being jointly funded by the council and by the MetalMatters programme which is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).

Rick Hindley, Alupro's executive director, said: "It is great to be able to work in partnership with Durham County Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging.

"This campaign has delivered significant increases in the amount of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we are aiming to repeat - and hopefully better this - in County Durham".

What can you recycle?

Residents are being reminded to recycle all of the metal packaging found around their home, including:

  • Food and drink cans
  • Foil trays
  • Empty aerosols
  • Household aluminium wrapping foil - used for baking or wrapping leftovers
  • Metal biscuit and sweet tins
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