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Cardboard conundrum

Councils and supermarkets have identified cardboard as a problem material often found dumped at bring bank sites.

Mendip district council said piles of cardboard were being left at its supermarket recycling sites, which had no such facilities for the material. And other local authorities questioned by MRW reiterated that cardboard was often left on top of or to the side of containers.

Sainsburys recycling manager James McKechnie added that the supermarkets key learning point at its recycling centres was with the material. When it offered recycling facilities for cardboard, aimed at collecting consumer carton board, such as cereal and tissue boxes, it experienced problems with the fly-tipping of local trade waste cardboard.

The issue of fly-tipping at supermarket bring sites has been raised by Mendip council, currently urging its residents to use such sites properly or risk losing them. Council spokesman Christian Lockyer said: We dont want to moan but it has got to a situation where the supermarkets are saying it cannot go on.

With many council recycling banks located on supermarket sites, the issues are experienced country-wide. Plastic and cardboard have been the main materials Mendip has had dumping problems with.

Other councils told MRW they also had problems with the dumping of unwanted toys and plastic bags used to carry their recyclables to the banks wedged in somewhere because people didnt want to take them home. Poor weather such as rain was also said to increase dumping.

According to McKechnie, Sainsburys has never had to close a recycling site down due to fly-tipping issues. Thankfully weve always found a way through, he said, adding that the key to dissipating such behaviour was the management and the positioning of the sites.

The tidier the site the less the occurrence of fly-tipping, he said. "By regularly emptying banks and positioning them in more visible areas, the sites are more likely to be used properly," he said.

Mendip is about to embark on an educational roadshow to educate people when they visit the
supermarket, as well as publicising the matter using local media.

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