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Foil added to Forest of Dean's kerbside recycling service


With the long Easter weekend only days away, residents in the Forest of Dean will now be able to add clean foil to their weekly kerbside recycling collection.

The decision by the Forest of Dean District Council has come in response to the amount of contamination in the foil banks, which has forced Mitcheldean charity - the Forest Furniture Bank - to take the difficult step to stop processing the material, which had to be hand-sorted before the aluminium could be baled and sold on. 

Householders will now be able to put aluminium foil and foil containers in the green kerbside box used for metal drink and food cans and plastic bottles with immediate effect as long as it is clean. 

Common items mistaken for foil include pet food pouches, plastic-coated blister packs - typically used for tablets and medicines - and crisp packets. These should not be put out for recycling but should be disposed of in the black residual waste bin.

The dedicated foil banks will be withdrawn from the District Council’s recycling sites over the next few days.  The change also means that residents will no longer be able to recycle their foil at Gloucestershire County Council’s Oak Quarry Household Recycling Centre at Broadwell until further notice. 

However, the public will be able to put clean aluminium foil and foil containers in the recycling banks currently used for metal drink and food cans and empty aerosols instead. 

A spokesperson for the Forest of Dean District Council, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to work with our waste contractor Biffa to offer a solution and provide residents with the opportunity to recycle their foil at the kerbside, especially so close to Easter when there is an abundance of foil packaging.  Aluminium foil can be recycled repeatedly without loss of quality so although some pieces of foil may seem light and insignificant, every bit really makes a difference.  Making products from recycled aluminium uses only five per cent of the energy it takes to make new foil from raw materials and with an estimated 80 million Easter eggs purchased in the UK each year, it is important that we recycle as much of the foil and cardboard packaging to help preserve our planet’s natural resources.”

James Walker, Depot Manager at Biffa Cinderford, said: “We would urge residents to check first if they are unsure whether the item they want to recycle is in fact foil. While the foil used to wrap items such as Easter eggs is easy to recognise, some foil packaging is harder to identify.  To find out if an item is foil do the ‘scrunch test.’  Simply scrunch the item in your hand - if it remains scrunched it is foil and can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable.  Incorrect items, such as pet food pouches and medicine packets, along with foil which hasn’t been cleaned - particularly containers used for cooking food and takeaways - may result in the kerbside box not being emptied.”

The foil banks to be removed are located at: Bream Road Car Park and Newerne Street Overflow Car Park (Lydney), Lewell Street Car Park (Newent), Coop Dockham Road (Cinderford), Railway Drive Car Park (Coleford), High Street (Ruardean) and Tidenham British Legion (Sedbury).

During Easter, waste collections on Good Friday will take place as normal. Collections due the week commencing 5 April, will take place one day later than normal due to no collections taking place on Easter Monday.  Details of collection dates can also be found on the annual recycling calendar, which was delivered to Forest of Dean households in the past few weeks.

For more information about the Forest of Dean District Council’s recycling service, including a list of recycling bank sites, can visit:

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