The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), working alongside the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK), has launched a new recycling service for disposable coffee cups.
Dorset residents are now able to recycle their empty used cups alongside food and drink cartons at 20 specialist recycling banks located in car parks across the county.
Coffee cups cannot currently be recycled at the kerbside as they are made from similar materials to food and drink cartons – paper with a plastic lining – and can therefore only be recycled at specialist recycling facilities.
The DWP is actively encouraging residents to use a re-usable cup when they purchase a hot drink, as most places are more than happy to accommodate them and this prevents disposable cups being used and then thrown away in the first place.
Disposable cups that are placed in household and public litter bins are either sent away for expensive treatment or go to landfill.
The carton recycling banks will now accept paper cups which are used for tea, coffee and other hot drinks in high street coffee shops, fast food outlets and supermarkets.
Those people who do not take a reusable cup with them are being encouraged to gather up their empty disposable cups with their waste cartons and take them all to their nearest recycling bank the next time they’re in the area. The contents of these banks are emptied regularly.
The new service is the result of an agreement between ACE UK (which operates the dedicated food and drink carton recycling service available in Dorset), high street retailers and cup manufacturers. The agreement was set up to give many more people access to recycling for paper cups through the carton bring bank service.
Councillor Tony Alford, chairman of the DWP’s Joint Committee, said:
“Although coffee cups cannot be recycled through council waste collections, with their growing use we were keen to take the opportunity to include them in the carton recycling banks. The residents of Dorset have always responded well to the different recycling schemes we’ve implemented, and we hope that they will take full advantage of this new service.
We encourage everyone to take a re-usable coffee cup with them when they buy a hot drink but, if you can’t, please keep your cartons and disposable cups together and take them to a recycling bank the next time you are passing by.”
The introduction of the paper cup recycling scheme in Dorset follows a successful campaign last year by the DWP to encourage residents to take their food and drink cartons to the recycling banks.