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THE FACTS Powered By Docstoc
   rethink rubbish
   s mall ac t ions, bi g c han ges


          ast year the average

    L     East Sussex
          household threw
    away over a tonne of
    rubbish. And this amount
    is growing by around 2%
    every year.

    At the moment most of this Every 90 minutes we produce enough rubbish
    is buried in local landfill sites. to fill your local swimming pool.
    But we can’t go on throwing
    away ever-increasing amounts of rubbish like this. It costs us
    money, is a waste of resources and damages our environment.
    And we’re running out of landfill space.

    European law is setting us targets to reduce the amount of
    rubbish we bury in landfill sites. If we fail to reach these targets
    the country will be fined. We will all have to pay for this through
    increases in our Council Tax.

    Doing nothing is not an option. We have to start reducing, reusing
    and recycling our rubbish to cut down the rubbish mountain. By
    taking small actions right now we can, together, make big changes
    to ensure a brighter future.

         We’re wasting our world and if we don’t start recycling
         we’re not going to have all the things we have now. You
         don’t have to recycle absolutely everything, but at least
         try and recycle something. I wish I could do more.
         Katherine, Ringmer


The growing mountain of rubbish is a
worldwide problem and the UK is not
alone in trying to solve it.

We will always need landfill, as it is the
only method suitable for nearly all types of
rubbish. But other countries recycle more than we do and use
other methods, in particular incineration, to reduce the amount of
rubbish sent to landfill. We too can, and must, reduce the amount
we bury in landfill sites.
“   I don’t feel recycling is an effort at all, I’ve always done
    it. I just hate to see all this rubbish going to the tips.
    Pauline, Brighton

  Who does what with household rubbish around the world










              Canada    Germany   Netherlands   Switzerland   UK         USA      Source: CERNO, 2002’

                  Landfill                Recycling                Energy from Waste (eg incineration)

    There are a number of ways of dealing with rubbish and cutting
    down the amount we throw away.

    The first and best option is not to create the rubbish in the first
    place. After that, as much as possible of the rubbish we still
    produce should be reused, recycled and composted.

    But there is a limit to what can be reused,
    recycled or composted. Some of the                        PREFERRED
    remaining rubbish can be used to generate                  DISPOSAL
    energy, for example by burning it in an
    Energy from Waste Plant. Anything left over
    will still have to be buried in landfill sites.              REUSE


                      If you reduce                           RECOVERY

                                                              Composting and Energy
                                                                from Waste (EfW)

                      rubbish in the                           LANDFILL

                      first place then
                      you won’t have to                      PREFERRED
            worry. If you reuse it then
            you won’t have to recycle it
            and then if all else fails
            you recycle it. You just
            have to prioritise.
            John, Hailsham


Borough and District Councils are responsible for collecting
household rubbish and providing recycling schemes, such as
kerbside collections.

                    Unitary Councils, such as Brighton & Hove,
                    are responsible for rubbish collection, recycling
                    management, disposal and planning.

                    County Councils, such as East Sussex, are
                    responsible for managing and disposing of
                    household rubbish including the management of
                    Household Waste Recycling Sites and preparing
                    Waste Local Plans. They are not responsible for
                    collecting rubbish.

                    The Environment Agency makes sure rubbish is
                    managed in a way that is safe, and protects our
                    health and the environment.

                    The UK Government sets targets for recycling,
                    waste reduction and composting.

                    The European Union sets targets to reduce
                    rubbish going to landfill sites.


            he process of

    T       recycling isn’t
            complete until
    what you put in your
    local recycling centre,
    bring bank or kerbside
    box is made into a new
    product and bought
    again. This is sometimes
    called ‘closing the loop’.

    There is now a huge selection of high quality products made from
    recycled materials – everything from writing paper, to fleeces and
    kitchen worktops. By buying recycled goods we help cut down the
    growing rubbish mountain.

                   I get through a lot of notepads but I’ll

    “              always buy recycled – they’re
                   cheaper than normal anyway – and
                   when I’ve finished with them I put
        them in the recycling bin.
        Ian, Uckfield

                                          DID YOU KNOW?

                                 Most cans, bottles and
                                 newspapers made in the UK
                                 contain some recycled material.

On average, about a quarter of the rubbish we put in our bins is
paper. Recycling paper is good for the environment in many ways.
Not only does this use less energy and water than making paper
from scratch, it also produces less rubbish.

The collected paper is taken to a recycling mill where it is passed
through a pulping machine to remove things that can’t be recycled,
like staples. Once it has been de-inked and the glues removed, it is
flattened by big rollers and dried. Finally, it’s made into long rolls
and then into new paper products.

Most of the paper collected for recycling from residents in East
Sussex is made into recycled newsprint.

We use plastic for all sorts of things, from washing up bowls to contact
lenses. It’s hard to imagine life without plastics and yet they have only been
around for about 50 years.

When you recycle your plastic bottles they are first delivered to local
Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs), where the different types of plastics
are sorted.

The sorted plastics are taken to a factory to be melted and then moulded
into new products. Some plastics are recycled into goods such as fleeces,
scissor handles, garden furniture and duvets.

More and more recycling sites in East Sussex accept plastic bottles
including some kerbside collection schemes.

    The drinks cans and food tins you collect for recycling are taken to local
    Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs). Here they are sorted into steel and
    aluminium, crushed and baled.

    The aluminium cans are taken to a factory and melted into new sheets,
    which are then made into new cans.

    The steel cans are taken to a different factory, where they are melted down
    to be made into a variety of products, including mountain bikes and fridges,
    as well as new steel cans.
                                                 DID YOU KNOW?

                                    If all the aluminium cans sold in the
                                    UK were recycled, there would be 12
                                    million fewer dustbins of rubbish
                                    every year.


About a third of the rubbish in
most people’s bins is from the
kitchen and garden. You can
compost most of this in your

Composting is the oldest and most
natural form of recycling. Kitchen
scraps and green garden rubbish
decompose naturally with the help
of worms and harmless bacteria.

Household Waste Recycling Sites in East Sussex can take a range
of green garden rubbish, including stuff you can’t compost at home,
such as large branches.

It’s then taken to various sites around East Sussex, placed into long
piles called windrows and turned regularly. After a few months, the
mixture is sieved to sort out the fine compost. The remaining larger
material goes through the composting process again.

Some of the compost from the Household Waste Sites in East
Sussex is used by farmers to put the goodness back into their land
and some is used on landfill sites to help turn them back into fields.

      “    The problem with composting is the prunings.
           Woody stuff does not like rotting down so things
           like that which we can’t do anything with, we take
           them to the tip.
           John, Hailsham

     About a third of glass is
     currently recycled in the UK,
     with the rest mostly ending up
     in landfill sites.

     Bottles and jars are collected
     from bottle banks or kerbside
     collection schemes and taken
     to glass recycling plants, where
     they're crushed into small
     pieces, called cullet. Any
     unwanted materials, such as
     paper labels and metal lids, are
     then removed.

     The cullet is fed into a furnace to melt the glass, which is used to
     make new bottles and jars.

     These are checked                      DID YOU KNOW?
     for quality, filled and
                                  Glass can be recycled indefinitely
     sent to the shops…
                                  without loss of quality.
     for us to buy again.


Reducing, reusing and
recycling should take priority in
the way we deal with rubbish
but they don’t solve the
rubbish problem completely.
Some of the things we throw
away, like toothpaste tubes
and pet litter, just aren’t
suitable for reusing or

Other ways of dealing with what’s left will always be needed. The
most commonly used options elsewhere in the world are burying
the rubbish in landfill sites or burning it in Energy from Waste
Plants to reduce its volume and recover the energy generated.
“     Even with all the recycling I do,
      I put out three bags a week.
      Janice, Brighton

                          DID YOU KNOW?

  Recycling rubbish does not always make environmental
  sense: recycling is a complex process that involves
  transporting, sorting and making rubbish into new
  products – this process pollutes the environment. So
  recycling only makes environmental sense when this
  pollution is less than getting rid of rubbish in other ways,
  such as burying it in landfill sites or burning it to
  generate energy.

     BURY IT

     Most of our rubbish in East
     Sussex and Brighton & Hove
     is buried in local landfill sites,
     which will soon be full. New
     laws are making landfill more
     expensive, to encourage us to
     reduce, reuse and recycle

     As with all options for
     managing our rubbish, landfill
     sites can have environmental
     impacts. The main impacts
     are gases given off by the
     rotting rubbish, which
     contribute to global warming,
     and polluted water.

     However, landfill is currently the only single option that is suitable
     for disposing of nearly all types of rubbish.

                          I hear that the landfill sites are filling up
                          and it’s scary to think it’s not going to
                          stop. When my daughter’s older where’s
                          it all going to go?
                          Marianne, Brighton


We can reduce the amount of
non-recycled rubbish that ends
up in landfill sites by using some
of it to generate energy. This is
known as Energy from Waste
(EfW). It allows us to get value
from the rubbish that’s left, to
reduce the amount of fossil fuels
that we need to generate energy
and to reduce the volume of
rubbish that ends up in landfill.

There are several ways to generate energy from rubbish. Methods

s incinerating rubbish.

s rotting down biodegradable rubbish, a process known as
  anaerobic digestion, to produce a gas which can be used
  as fuel.

s turning the rubbish into fuel pellets, which are then used in
  special burners to generate heat.

s new technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis, where
  rubbish is crushed and burned.

All these processes produce residues, like ash, that need to be
disposed of in landfill sites. Some of these methods, in particular
Energy from Waste Plants, are popular in countries with high
recycling rates, such as Switzerland.


     All methods of disposing of our rubbish, including recycling, are
     expensive, have an impact on the environment and have some
     health risks. It is very difficult to compare different disposal
     methods, because they have different impacts and because there
     has not yet been enough research to compare them.

     However, some of the costs and benefits of the main options

     Landfill sites – these release gases that contribute to global
     warming, and can pollute rivers or groundwater. But landfill is
     currently the only option that is suitable for disposing of nearly all
     types of rubbish.

     Energy from Waste plants – these produce ash and release
     some air pollution. However, many scientists believe that the
     effects of this are insignificant compared with smoking, bonfires,
     barbecues or using your car.

     How do we choose? Deciding which disposal methods to use
     and where facilities should go is a long and complicated process.
     Decisions are made after consulting a number of organisations
     and individuals, including local residents.

     But remember: the more we reduce, reuse and recycle our
     rubbish the fewer facilities, like Energy from Waste Plants,
     we’ll need to deal with what’s left.


s Reducing, reusing and
  recycling our rubbish can
  help cut the amount we end
  up throwing in the bin by over

s Use fewer shopping bags -
  take your own bags with you.

s Shop smart - when buying
  anything from fridges to
  clothing - chose items that
  are going to last a long time
  and so save you money.

s Stop junk mail - phone the Mailing Preference Service
  on 0845 703 4599.

s Composting - it’s simple, saves you money on compost and is
  excellent for the garden.

s Avoid the bin - donate things like unwanted clothes and CDs to
  charity shops.

s Recycle paper - use your kerbside collection scheme or bring
  banks to reduce what ends up in the bin.

s We can help you to rethink your rubbish at home, at work or
  at school. Contact the Rethink Rubbish Team on 01273
  482323 or

                                                          Bus Dimensions
                                                         Length 8.25m (27ft)
                                                         Height 3.5m (11ft 6”)
                                                         Width   min 2.5m (8ft 2”)
                                                                 max 5m (16ft 5”)

The Bus is available for open days and events. It’s fun, it’s free and
it’s fully staffed. Our specialist staff can also offer free talks and run

The Bus exhibition has been designed by Science Museum Solutions,
with content by East Sussex County Council.

The Bus is packed with ideas, games and special offers to help everyone
to cut the amount of rubbish we throw away.

To book the Rethink Rubbish Bus or to find out more
please contact us:

✆          01273 482323


           Or check out our website:
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