Published on 4th April 2014

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A trial over the summer will establish if the range of plastics that can be recycled at 12 sites in the town can be expanded.

Cheltenham Borough Council will be conducting a trial over the summer to establish if it can permanently expand the range of plastics that can be recycled at 12 of its most popular recycling sites around the town.

Because of its light and bulky nature, recycling plastics are more expensive than recycling other types of materials, but the council recognises that there is a clear public demand for this service.

The technical term for the plastic being trialled is ‘post consumer plastic’. This refers to items such as:

  • yoghurt pots
  • margarine tubs
  • ice cream tubs
  • ready-meal pots
  • plastic fruit punnets

However, this does not include:

  • any black-coloured plastic
  • plastic bags
  • cling film (or any other kind of film)

Plastic bottles have always been part of the core group of materials that are recycled by the council but other ‘post consumer plastics’ previously went to landfill. But from 2 June 2014, a three-month trial will begin to determine if these types of plastics can also be recycled at Cheltenham recycling sites in the future.

Residents who are keen to recycle this type of plastic – and help the result of the trial – will be able to take them to any of the following sites from 2 June 2014:

  • Caernarvon Road, Morrisons
  • Priors Road, Sainsbury's
  • Manor Road, Sainsbury's
  • Bath Terrace car park
  • Hatherley Lane, Asda
  • Church Piece car park
  • Edinburgh Place car park
  • St James Street car park
  • Sixways car park
  • Everest Road, Old Patesians
  • Swindon Road recycling centre
  • Whaddon Road, CTFC

If the results of the trial are positive and cost effective, then it is likely that this service will be implemented permanently.

Research, which has been completed in planning this initiative, has highlighted five other sites (listed below) around the town that are particularly under-used and are, therefore, extremely costly to for the council to run. These five sites, combined, account for just 1% of the total recycling collected from all recycling sites.

  • Tommy Taylor’s Lane
  • QE II playing fields
  • St Marks Community Centre
  • High St car park
  • Sandford Lido car park

In order for collection crews to manage the expanded plastics recycling service, it is planned that these sites will close. This will free-up valuable resources which can then be used on servicing the more well-used sites, especially with the expected increase in demand as a result of the potential expansion of plastics recycling.

Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability, said: "Every tonne of waste which isn’t landfilled saves the taxpayer £80/tonne so we are very pleased to be able to introduce this step forward, especially as it is in response to clear public demand."

"Cheltenham has always striven to be in the forefront of moves to divert recyclable waste away from landfill and so, as well as expanding the range of plastics recycled from ‘bring sites’, we are also researching the possibility of collecting these kinds of mixed plastics from the kerbside. At present, council budgets are limited, so this initiative is something which we hope to be able to implement in the future when it is more financially viable."

For media enquiries contact Lisa Davies, communications and web team leader on 01242 775037 or email [email protected]