Cambridge: It’s time to make your Metals Matter!

News release from 18/06/2018

We use over 141 million cans, foil trays and aerosols every year in South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City and the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service has launched a new campaign to make sure every last one makes it into your blue recycling bin.*

The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils has teamed up with the metal packaging manufacturing industry to launch the ‘Make your metals matter’ campaign here, which will reach all 119,000 households across both districts.

The campaign will see leaflets sent to every home, events for residents and will be supported with a social media campaign. The shared waste service’s brand-new fleet of refuse collection vehicles will also sport smart “MetalMatters” liveries.

The aim of the campaign is to remind residents to recycle all metal packaging found around their home, including

  • Drink cans
  • Food tins (including pet food)
  • Foil trays
  • Empty aerosols
  • Metal screw tops
  • Foil wrap

If all of the metal packaging used in homes in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire each year was collected for recycling it would save around 3,820 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking over 812 cars off local streets for a year.**

Used metal packaging can be recycled into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials. Making drinks cans from recycled material saves up to 95% of the energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, needed to make both aluminium and steel from raw materials. What’s more, every time metal passes through the recycling loop the benefits are repeated, again and again and again!

Executive councillor for Environmental Services and City Centre at Cambridge City Council, Cllr Rosy Moore said “We want to encourage residents to think about metal packaging found throughout their home, not just in the kitchen but in the bathroom, and bedroom. Food and drink cans, foil and empty aerosols are all easily and endlessly recyclable. Every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours – so a small action like putting your empty bean tin into your blue recycling bin can make a big difference.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Cllr Mark Howell, said “South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste, and it’s great news that they’ve recycled 53% of their waste so far this financial year. Now we want to ask people to think about the quality of their recycling as well as the quantity. Only putting the right items in and making sure you rinse food tins and trays in used washing-up water helps ensure they are recycled effectively. What’s good for recycling is good for us – clean recycling is worth more and means we get more income to support our services.”

MetalMatters campaigns have run in 81 local authority areas and reached over 5 million households since 2012. The Greater Cambridge campaign is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership of the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service. The MetalMatters programme is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the funding partners.

Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro, said: “It is great to be able to work in partnership with Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service 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 across Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire.”

* Number of packaging items is based on: 600 food tins, 380 drinks cans. 182 foil trays and 27 empty aerosols thrown out by an average household annually (1189 items), multiplied by approx. number of households 119,000 in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire.

**CO2 equivalence based on: The average household consumption of steel and aluminium packaging across 119,000 households in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire, the CO2 saving if this entire quantity was recycled and the average emission of CO2 from a standard car per annum. Actual calculations are available from Alupro (contact above).

For details of MetalMatters campaigns and case studies visit www.metalmatters.org.uk

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