Southend-on-Sea City Council challenges residents to reduce their rubbish to One Black Bag a Week

Each week, crews across Southend collect around 645 tonnes of rubbish in black sacks.

A hand holding a single black rubbish sack.

That's the equivalent of 46 double-decker buses. But did you know that on average, 58% of the content of those black bags could have been recycled in the pink recycling sacks, blue paper and card box or even the food waste bin?

To support residents in reducing their waste, households will receive a leaflet with practical tips on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste. Residents can sign-up to the pledge and find out more on our One Black Bag a Week web page.

Many residents already recycle all they can, so the campaign also shares ideas to reduce waste by switching to reusable items and minimising food waste by finding new ways to use leftovers.

Residents are also invited to donate items in good condition they no longer need or want to the Reuse Shop or local charity shops. The Reuse Shop CIC, located in Stock Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre is open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Sunday (closed on Thursday's), and sells a wide range of items at reduced prices, including good quality furniture and working electrical items.

A leaderboard on the dedicated website will reveal how many residents are joining as the weeks go on, and on 16 March, five lucky households who have signed-up to the pledge will be drawn at random and receive vouchers for The Refill Room, the zero waste shop in Leigh-on-Sea.

Stuart Atkinson, senior contract manager for Veolia, said: “This campaign is all about showing Southend's residents that small changes in how they manage their recycling at home can help us deliver ecological transformation.

“I hope that Southend residents will take up the challenge and I'm confident that with the help of the information we're sharing, they'll be surprised by how easily we can find ways to reduce our non-recyclable waste to just one bag each week.”

Councillor Meg Davidson, cabinet member for environment, said: "This initiative isn't just about reducing waste, it's about fostering a community spirit of responsibility towards our environment.

"Every item that we divert from our black bags to recycling or reuse is a step towards a cleaner, more sustainable Southend-on-Sea. We understand that change isn't always easy, but small actions, when multiplied across our city, can have a significant impact.

"We're asking every resident to play their part, and we're here to support them in making these important changes. Together, we can make a substantial difference to our local environment and set a positive example for other communities to follow."

Published: 29th January 2024

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