Cookstown District Council have introduced an increased list of items that can be recycled in our blue and brown bins.
The most recent scheme to be introduced is the distribution of kitchen caddies to householders with a brown bin collection.
Karen Brown, Recycling Officer for Cookstown District Council, said: “We would like you to put all of your food waste into your kitchen caddy. Once it is full simply empty the contents into your brown bin. Please continue to use your brown bin for garden waste and ashes as well. Your kitchen caddy is a great way of collecting your food scraps. You can put all your plate scrapings and food scraps into your caddy, whether raw or cooked.
“If you do not currently have a brown bin, why not try out a home compost bin for your garden and food waste. These are available to collect from the Council Offices free of charge.”
The range of materials accepted in the blue bin scheme has also increased. Glass, household plastic packaging and empty aerosols can now be included in the blue bin, in addition to paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, cartons, food tins and drink cans.
Glass bottles and jars are now accepted in the blue bin scheme. This includes all colours of glass bottles and jars however please do not include window glass or Pyrex.
Household plastic packaging that can be taken in the blue bin includes clean yogurt pots, butter tubs, plastic meat trays, fruit punnets and ready meal trays.
To prevent odours and to make sure all items can be recycled, please rinse out bottles and jars, food containers, cartons and cans. Polystyrene packaging, plastic bags and shredded paper should not be put in the blue bin.
Your brown bin can be used for garden and food waste (both cooked and uncooked). This includes grass and leaves, fruit and vegetables (and their peelings), egg shells, leftovers, bread and pastries, tea bag, fish, meat and bones, dairy products and cold ashes.
To keep your bin as clean as possible, it is advisable to line the bottom of your empty bin with a few sheets of newspaper to absorb any liquids. Along with the distribution of kitchen caddys, a roll of compostable liners will also be supplied. These can be used to line your caddy and are safe to put in your brown bin. Additional liners are available from most large supermarkets and should be labelled COMPOSTABLE and not biodegradable. Please look for composting standard EN13432 on packaging – this ensures the bag degrades in the composting process.
You can also wrap food waste in a sheet of newspaper before depositing them it the bin. Please do not use plastic bags. The bin should also occasionally be rinsed out with disinfectant.
Thanks to the efforts of everyone using their blue and brown bins to recycle more the recycling rate has increased year on year to over 41% in 2012/13. However, councils across Northern Ireland are going to be set a target of recycling 60% of their waste by 2020!
If you have any queries about your blue or brown bin, visit www.cookstown.gov.uk or contact 028 8676 2205.