How recycling works in Barking and Dagenham

THIS is in reply to the letter asking about putting household rubbish and recycling materials into the same council refuse cart (Postbag, January 14). Your correspondent asked if it was defeating the object putting both sacks into the one cart, suggesting

THIS is in reply to the letter asking about putting household rubbish and recycling materials into the same council refuse cart (Postbag, January 14).

Your correspondent asked if it was defeating the object putting both sacks into the one cart, suggesting that this practice could cause contamination.

The council stopped collecting black and orange bags in separate vehicles in October, 2006.

The orange and black bags collected in the same vehicle are taken to Frog Island in Rainham, where the black and orange bags are sorted and separated.


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At the Frog Island plant, an infra-red light reads the colour of the bags, and separates them into two different piles.

The orange bags are taken to a different area of the plant, where the different materials of paper, plastic, and food and drink cans are then processed.

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The compressor on every refuse truck is a flat contraption, which pushes all the rubbish to the back of the vehicle, allowing more rubbish to be put in.

The bags do become squashed, but very few of them rip.

To make sure that all the materials from orange bags stay inside and do not spill out, we have been giving out stronger ones - called survival bags - since July, 2006.

Recycling rates in the borough are on the increase, and early indications show that this year's rates will be higher than 2008.

Abdoulie Jallow

Waste and Recycling Policy Manager

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