Orkney Islands Council’s Waste Team is encouraging Orkney residents to continue to “Make Your Metals Matter” in May.
In 2020, the Council collected 31.7 tonnes of aluminium for recycling, compared to 14 tonnes in 2018, demonstrating that our “Metal Matters” campaign continues to have an impact. This increase has saved 285.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 126.8 tonnes of Bauxite (the raw material which aluminium is made from). The aluminium in your cans is a permanently available resource and is 100 per cent recyclable, forever, with no loss of quality. Therefore, the carbon savings increase every time it passes through that recycling loop.
Orkney is not alone in recycling its aluminium. According to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (ALUPRO), more and more people are recycling their aluminium in the UK. In 2020, 151,515 tonnes were collected for recycling in the UK which is a huge increase of 31% compared to 2019. The amount of CO2 saved is the equivalent of driving 195,000 times around the equator in a conventional motor vehicle.
In Orkney, residents can recycle their household metals as part of their kerbside collection. Just as a reminder, the following items can be recycled through your kerbside recycling scheme:
- Drinks cans.
- Food tins (cleaned).
- Empty household aerosol cans.
- Foil trays and household foil (cleaned).
- Metal wine bottle tops.
- Lids from jars.
- Barbecue and freezing trays (cleaned).
- Screw top lids from wine bottles.
- Lids from beer bottles.
- Foil wrapping from sweets/chocolate.
- Biscuit or sweets tins.
There are some packaging items (like crisp packets and pet food pouches) that can look like aluminium foil but are actually made from metallised plastic film. This type of material is not currently recycled and should not be put in your recycling bin.
An easy way to find out if an item is foil or metallised plastic film, is to do the scrunch test. Simply scrunch the item in your hand - if it remains “scrunched” it is foil and can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable.
Chair of the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Graham Sinclair said: “People living in Orkney have done a great job in recycling as much aluminium as they can. This feat is all the more impressive considering what a challenging year 2020 has been. We really appreciate the determination and commitment to recycling shown by Orkney residents and are grateful for their ongoing efforts to make sure that as much metal as possible can continue to be reused.”