Thinking Ahead During National Recycle Week 2020

This week is Recycle Week 2020, highlighting the importance of sending less waste to landfill. That’s something we’re passionate about at Eco Sustainable Solutions, and not just because we process more than 250,000 tonnes of waste a year at our Eco Park near Parley.

In the BCP Council area and across Dorset, around 60% of household waste is recycled, but we know that we can all do even more to reduce waste, reuse and recycle more, preventing waste from ending up in landfill and affecting the environment.

We live and work in a beautiful part of the world and that’s why we want Dorset to become a national leader in recycling as much waste as possible locally. We’re doing our bit by maximising the potential of waste as a resource.

But a significant amount of waste (around 320,000 tonnes) is still trucked out of the local area for disposal. This adds to the environmental impact of waste, transported long distances by HGVs, and some of this waste still ends up in landfill. Some 72,000 tonnes of household waste collected by BCP and Dorset councils still goes to landfill.

We want to help – not just reducing carbon emissions by ensuring more of the recyclable waste is saved from landfill, but also by recovering energy from a proportion of the waste that can’t be recycled. Our proposals for a 60,000 tonne Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) will create low-carbon energy – electricity and heat – which could be used by local homes and businesses.

However, this still leaves a lot of waste without a home – and we want to help local residents and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle even more. This is why we want to include a Visitor and Education Centre as part of our investment plans for our Eco Park at Parley.

We want to hear from you!

What would you like to see in a Visitor and Education Centre? What do you want to know more about when it comes to reducing waste and recycling more? Have you got a good idea for reducing waste? If so, get in touch.

We are keen to ensure that the Visitor and Education Centre works closely with BCP Council’s plans for an environmental innovation hub at Durley Chine, ensuring less waste is created and more high value uses are developed for recyclable materials, particularly plastics.

In the meantime, what can you do? Here are some of the key reasons it is so important to recycle.

Recycling conserves resources

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting fresh, raw material from the Earth, through mining and forestry.

Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.

Did you know… Eco recycles 250,000 tonnes per year of local waste – even street sweepings are recycled!

Recycling saves energy

Recycling food waste helps to tackle climate change because it can be turned into renewable energy, as we do at our Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility near Dorchester.

Using recycled materials in manufacturing uses considerably less energy than is required to produce new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs, like transport.

Metal and glass can be recycled over and over without a loss of quality and it takes a lot less energy (around 95% less energy) to make items from recycled materials than from ‘virgin’ materials. It takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic than from virgin plastic.

Did you know… Eco has prevented more than 1.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions by diverting waste from landfill.

Recycling helps protect the environment

Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, drilling, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials, all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

It also stops plastics from being dumped in the ocean, which is having a major impact on marine environments and marine animals, many of which we rely on to feed us.

As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.

Did you know… Eco has invested over £80,000 in local nature conservation schemes including heathland improvement!

Recycling reduces landfill

When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites reduces. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK's emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Another reason recycling is important is because we don’t have enough landfill capacity locally, so we are sending our rubbish to sites across the country, generating more emissions, local air pollution and traffic.

Did you know… over 72,000 tonnes of local household waste still ends up in landfill every year!

The Waste Challenge

As a region, we need to process as much of our waste as we can, to recover as much value from it as possible and do more with less. At Eco, we help local residents and businesses do that by recycling garden and wood waste, and by turning food waste into energy at our Dorchester AD facility. We’re planning to build on that by opening a new energy recovery facility (ERF) at our Parley Eco Park.

The facility will be able to process 60,000 tonnes of waste a year. This is far less than allocated in the Waste Local Plan, because we think that the next few years are going to see a major effort to reduce, reuse and recycle a lot more of the region’s waste.

Education is vital

We want to play our part in those efforts, so we are going to invest in a Visitor and Education Centre as part of the ERF project, to help local residents and schools find out more about the waste challenge. But we want your thoughts on what we should include in the centre. We’re giving local residents the chance to contribute to the content of the centre.

To work alongside us as we try and put Dorset at the forefront of the war on waste, or if you simply want more information please call: 01202 593601

Click here for more information on our wider plans for the future.

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