Separating different materials before a visit makes recycling much easier – and it means even more can be recycled as people are more likely to put the right items into the right skip or container.
Most people do it already, but some take along a mixed bag of waste and put it into the general waste skip.
To help get the message across, a trial of the bag sorting system is now underway at Driffield’s household waste recycling site, organised by the waste and recycling team at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
A sorting table is provided there, with gloves, a litter picker, paper towels and anti-bacterial handwash – and residents with bags or boxes of waste are being encouraged to visit so they can sort through their own waste.
Recycling containers for each type of item are sited next to the table – so people don’t have to travel across the site to the various skips.
Non-recycleable items can then be placed into the general waste skip.
Studies carried out at East Riding household waste recycling sites have shown that, of the black bin bags put into general waste skips, 30% of the contents could have been recycled.
Items included plastic bottles, drinks cans, cardboard and textiles. Most of those can be recycled in bins at home.
If the bag sorting trial in Driffield is a success, it may be introduced at all household waste recycling sites across the East Riding.
Bag sorting on site has already been introduced at Hull’s household waste recycling sites – and has led to an increase in recycling.
Cllr Chris Matthews, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change, said: “Most people sort their waste before they visit our sites, especially if they have larger items, and they do a great job.
“But some people bring along bags of mixed waste, don’t sort through them, and throw them into the general waste skip instead.
“So we hope residents will take this trial on board and really help us out, as we know this helps to increase recycling.
“East Riding residents are some of the best recyclers in the country and we want to keep it that way.”