Metal packs a punch for Larne residents, but ‘more can be done’

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LARNE residents are saving more than £41,000 and 800 tonnes of greenhouse gasses every year – equivalent to driving around the world five times – just by recycling their metal packaging like foil trays, cans and aerosols.

The latest statistics from arc 21, the organisation tasked with coordinating waste management services in the North East of the Province, have been described as impressive by Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

However, the Minister added that the figure could be higher and has urged residents to recycle even more of their metal packaging during the launch of a new campaign.

The metal packaging industry, reprocessing and drinks industries are working together with arc 21 and its waste management partner Bryson Recycling, to help increase metal packaging recycling rates across 11 council areas. The new programme is designed to raise awareness of the importance of metal packaging recycling, and increase the amount of metal packaging collected from households.

Lending his support to the programme, the minister said: “Recycling metal packaging saves energy and valuable raw materials while reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill.

“The high intrinsic value of used metal packaging like food and drink cans and foil trays is a key incentive and major economic motivation for increasing recycling, adding significant value to kerbside collections and helping to keep down the cost of waste collections to the ratepayer.”

The eight week advertising campaign will reach more than 407,000 households, representing over half of Northern Ireland’s population and will help arc 21’s 11 constituent councils promote their recycling services to local households.

Ricky Burnett, policy and operations director at arc 21, said: “We’re all used to recycling our food and drink cans but there is much more that we can do. For example you can recycle your empty aerosols, foil pie cases and biscuit tins in the same bin or box.

“We are confident that we can recycle an extra 380 tonnes of metal packaging every year across arc 21 areas. That’s the equivalent of saving 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year - or 3 million miles driven in a small family car.