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Attractive banks improve recycling levels

By John McKenna

Better-looking recycling banks have increased collection levels at three different sites in Hertfordshire. Volumes of glass and textiles significantly increased after the bins, which look like bus shelters, were introduced to customers at Tesco supermarkets.

After looking at various research it was clear that people who visited recycling centres were attaching a low value to the experience, said Andy McCaffrey, head of business development for compliance scheme Valpak. It was then that we came up with the idea of a good looking bin that would make people see there is value in recycling.

Since their introduction footfall to the sites has increased and the feedback from the public has been positive. Although all the figures regarding the banks success are yet to be published, McAffrey believed that shoppers who previously didnt recycle have started to do so. At Tesco you have to drive by them, and with improved signage, more people have been attracted to the recycling area.

McAffrey added that all three sites were in an area where kerbside collection was also available and those collections had not been affected. Instead, people were dropping off materials at the sites in addition to kerbside collections. The reasons for this included needing to do more than one recycle

a week or wanting to recycle


Valpak recruited designer SMF International and manufacturer Taylor to help turn their vision into a reality. SMF had previously designed bus shelters, and it was this design upon which the banks were based. We wanted to go with the bus shelter design, said McAffrey, because we wanted something that could be used for advertising and that advertisers would feel happy enough to use.

The banks are made of stainless steel and have reinforced roofs, with the aim of making them as vandal proof as possible.

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