A message from Mel: creating a waste-free Wigan this Christmas

The generosity of people across the borough to donate to our foodbank and Christmas hamper appeal has been overwhelming – but as our Re-Use and Recycle Education Coordinator Mel Walls explains, we’re not only asking for your support to rebuild lives, but also to create a waste- free Wigan borough….

We all like to indulge at Christmas, but do we give enough thought to the waste that we produce during the festive season? From using the wrong bins to wasting food, it is estimated that 300,000 tonnes of packaging is thrown away and the equivalent of 2 million turkeys each Christmas*.

“There are a few easy steps we can take to make sure we don’t throw money in the bin and create a waste-free Wigan together:

  • Save yourself some money by avoiding unnecessary food offers such as Buy One Get One Free – before you place that extra bag of potatoes or box of mince pies in your shopping basket, ask yourself if they are destined for your green bin.
  • If you do need to bin any food waste – FEED the GREEN bin and not the black bin. Did you know that when you take your black bags to the recycling centre, the team has to sort through the rubbish to ensure that there are no recyclable items within the bags? A very messy process! By using your green bin you’ll not only save the borough money, but also make the recycling centre team’s job cleaner and more efficient.
  • Make your food recycling as easy as possible by ordering a free food caddy for your kitchen if you don’t already have one from the Wigan Council website.
  • Hoping for a new hairdryer, smartphone or laptop this Christmas? Don’t just chuck them in the black bin- divert your old electrical items from landfill! If the items are still working then why not pop down to The Brick Works or our charity shop on Gidlow Lane to donate them – if they don’t work, you can drop them off at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
  • If you’re having a pre- Christmas sort out of your wardrobe or replacing old towels and curtains to impress guests over the festive season, think about donating old textiles to charity or recycling them at textile banks across the borough. Why bother? Well, incorrectly putting clothes and textiles into your brown or black bins means that they can get ripped, torn and wet, meaning they can’t be recycled.

Make sure your Christmas doesn’t leave a lifetime of landfill – find out about your Blue, Green or Brown bin  at www.wigan.gov.uk/recycling

If you would like to learn more about Mel’s role, or you would like to arrange an interactive educational session about waste and recycling at your school or community centre, please contact melanie@thebrick.org.uk.

 *Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/how-to-stop-christmas-waste-and-the-thousand-of-tonnes-thrown-away-each-year-a7489766.html