East, North and South Ayrshire Councils have today (Thursday 13 August 2015) joined forces to call on residents to make their metals matter and boost household recycling of metal packaging across Ayrshire.
The campaign aims to make everyone think more about the waste metal in their everyday drinks cans, food tins and aluminium food trays – the sort of household waste that easily gets taken for granted and put in the bin.
Every year, more than 173 million* items of metal packaging are thrown away by Ayrshire households – that's almost 20,000 drinks cans, food tins and aerosols getting binned every single hour of the day. That's equivalent to the same weight as 14 double-decker buses every year!
East, North and South Ayrshire Councils are now taking part in the campaign, supported by the metal packaging industry, to dramatically increase the amount of metal the 172,000 households in the area recycle.
Making your metal matter helps the environment by removing metal waste going to landfill and because the recycled metal can be used over and over again, it makes metal can, tin and tray manufacturing processes more environmentally friendly.
In addition, every single recycled can, tin or metal food tray generates revenue for the local authorities – money which can be reinvested back into the community.
Councillor Eoghann MacColl, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at East Ayrshire Council said: "This superb campaign has already run in over 50 councils across the UK and results show it works, with a significant and lasting increase in the amount of metal packaging collected.
"It represents a win-win position for all of us and it's amazing to think of all the benefits we can enjoy, just by putting our can, tin or waste metal in the recycling bin!"
Councillor Tony Gurney, North Ayrshire Council's Cabinet Member for Place, said: "I'd like to thank our residents for their ongoing commitment to recycling and would encourage them to continue to help us in our efforts to protect and enhance the area for future generations. Over the years we have shown our commitment to recycling, reducing our impact on the local environment and working with our communities to create a cleaner and greener North Ayrshire and I hope this campaign will help us to build on what we've already achieved."
Councillor John McDowall, Portfolio Carrier for Sustainability and the Environment for South Ayrshire Council added: "Our residents currently recycle around half of their waste, which is a great achievement, but we know we can do even more – and making metals 'matter' will play a big part in that. Many of us are now used to recycling the likes of paper or cardboard, and we need to ensure that thinking extends to our waste metal too. The new campaign will help inform people about what happens to their metal packaging once it's been collected. "For example, the average household uses 380 drinks cans a year, every one of which can be recycled and back on sale in just 60 days – so we can all make a real difference ."
All Ayrshire households will shortly receive two leaflets, distributed six weeks apart, to remind them what can be recycled in their recycling collection and explaining what happens to the metal packaging once it has been collected for recycling.
Signage on recycling collection vehicles will also carry the campaign messages and you can find out more at roadshow events, running throughout August and September, and publicity on council websites.
Rick Hindley, Executive Director of project managers Alupro, said: "The MetalMatters programme is one of the most cost-effective ways to motivate residents to recycle more. We are looking forward to seeing positive results from the campaign across Ayrshire as more residents recycle more materials at home."
MetalMatters is the largest industry-funded recycling campaign in the United Kingdom and has been commended by Scottish and UK Governments for its contribution to driving up and sustaining metal capture rates.
For more information about the new metal packaging recycling campaign visit: