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Your Garden Waste and Recycling

Now that practising proper waste disposal and recycling is required, how do you go about it? Do you still mix your household waste with green waste? If your answer is yes, then you are doing it the wrong way. Mixing green waste and household waste will only end up in landfills, which is not a sustainable way of disposing of your waste.

Learning how to properly manage your green waste has fantastic benefits to the environment. As an incentive for considering it, we will share with you the benefits that come along with it.

Aside from composting your green waste at home, you have the option to have it collected from home on a subscription basis or taken out by a removal lorry and transported to a household waste recycling centre. If you opt for green waste collection, it will cost you around £50 per bin every year depending on your local council.

According to the Swindon Borough Council, the subscription will involve the collection of garden waste placed in a wheelie bin that they will provide you. The waste will aim to be collected in the morning of the scheduled collection day in your area.

When subscribing to their services, you will be provided with a 240-litre bin with a green lid. Extra care should be made to what goes inside the bin. These are the acceptable garden waste that should be placed inside it:   

  • Bark
  • Bedding of vegetarian pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters or rabbits
  • Biodegradable bedding such as hay, straw and shredded paper from non-meat eating pets like  hamsters, mice and rabbits
  • Cuttings
  • Cut flowers
  • Flowers
  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge clippings or trimmings
  • Hedge house plants with the soil removed
  • Leaves
  • Plants and shrubs
  • Pond plants
  • Prunings
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Untreated sawdust and wood shavings
  • Weeds

There are also materials that shouldn’t be mixed with your garden waste.

  • Ash
  • Biodegradable plastics or compostable bags
  • Bricks
  • Earth, soil or turf
  • Food waste such as vegetable or fruit peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds, meat, teabags and etc.
  • Large items of garden waste like branches or logs
  • Noxious weeds like rhododendron or Japanese knotweed 
  • Packaging of any kind
  • Pet bedding or waste
  • Plant pots or trays
  • Plastics sacks
  • Rubble
  • Seed trays
  • Shredded card or paper
  • Stones or hardcore
  • Treated wood
  • Windfall fruit

If you are wondering why windfall fruit and vegetable peelings cannot be placed in the garden waste bin, the Swindon Borough Council utilises a technique called windrow composting which requires composting garden wastes in open-air windrows. This technique has a lower environmental impact, requires a low amount of fuel and provides minimal cost. If food waste is mixed along with garden waste, they will be required to change their waste processing methods which comply with the BSI PAS100 standard and other legal environmental permits. They would be processed in temperature-controlled facilities as well, making it most costly compared to windrow composting.

If you have the capability to recycle food waste, grab it. It comes with several benefits:

  • It reduces your council’s expenses in disposing of waste. The savings can be used to deliver other important council services.
  • Large quantities of food waste produce a large amount of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that affects our environment.
  • Food waste can be converted into fertiliser and used for agricultural purposes.
  • Food waste can be converted into energy that can be used to power homes and facilities. This is done with the use of an enclosed system, whereby microorganisms breakdown the waste and releasing methane as a result of anaerobic digestion. It is also known as biogas.

Every household in Swindon is encouraged to recycle because of its numerous environmental benefits. Since 2018, the council has made it compulsory, aiming to reduce the waste produced and the negative impact it gives on the environment.

Swindon’s recycling rate is still far from 100%. To hasten the progress, many waste and recycling services are offered to its residents. Whenever you dispose of garden waste in blue bags or blacks bins, the Swindon Borough Council pays around £6 million worth of disposal fees in a year.

In order to support the council and lessen your negative impact, start recycling these items:

  • aerosols
  • cans
  • cardboard
  • foil 
  • glass bottles
  • jars
  • paper
  • plastics
  • tins
  • Textiles

To make recycling easier, you just need to follow a few easy tips and tricks. First, try to reduce your amount of waste. Doing this will save you time in sorting waste. It will also free up space in waste bags, bins and boxes. To reduce your amount of waste you can buy and sell used items, use a reusable coffee cup, read an online version of a book or newspaper, take reusable containers when buying meat or seafood and buying loose vegetables or fruits.

If you are wondering where your waste goes, you are not alone. According to the Swindon Borough Council, they handle it in the most environmentally-friendly method possible. Your waste will either be recycled, composted or reused whenever possible.

For waste that can be recycled, they will be sent to various companies to be processed. The waste collected can even help the town earn an income and offset the expenses for waste disposal.

As of 2019, the Swindon Borough Council sent recyclable waste for processing to these companies:

  • Cardboard – DS Smith at Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent (UK) and/or India
  • Kerbside plastic – PMK plastics in Peterborough (UK)
  • Mixed glass – URM (Berryman’s) in Knottingley, Yorkshire (UK) or Recresco Ltd in Cwmbran (South Wales)
  • Paper – DS Smith at Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent (UK) and/or Eska Graphic Board B.V (The Netherlands)
  • Steel cans – Sims in Neath (South Wales)

If you are planning to make a raised compost bin in your home, get in touch with Enterprise Works on 07392 109856 or enterpriseworks2@swindon.gov.uk today. We have plenty of materials and options for you to choose from!

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