We use over 91 million cans, foil trays and aerosols every year in Huntingdonshire. The Huntingdonshire Waste Service has launched a new campaign to make sure every last one of these makes it into your blue recycling bin.

Huntingdonshire District Council has teamed up with the metal packaging manufacturing industry to launch the ‘Make your metals matter’ campaign here, which will reach all 76,000 households across the district.

The campaign will see leaflets sent to every home and will be supported with a social media campaign. A number of our recycling collection vehicles will also sport smart MetalMatters liveries.

Staff posing with recycable goods

The aim of the campaign is to remind residents to recycle all metal packaging found around their home, including:

  • drink cans
  • food tins (including pet food)
  • foil trays
  • empty aerosols
  • metal screw tops
  • foil wrap.

Used metal packaging can be recycled into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials. Making drinks cans from recycled material saves up to 95% of the energy and greenhouse gas emissions, needed to make both aluminium and steel from raw materials. What’s more, every time metal passes through the recycling loop the benefits are repeated, again and again and again! If all of the metal packaging used in homes in Huntingdonshire each year was collected for recycling, it would save around 2,367 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent of taking over 501 cars off local streets for a year.

Executive Councillor for Waste Management, Cllr Marge Beutell, said: “We want to encourage residents to think about metal packaging found throughout their home, not just in the kitchen but in the bathroom and bedroom. Food and drink cans, foil and empty aerosols are all easily and endlessly recyclable. Every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours – so a small action like putting your empty bean tin into your blue recycling bin can make a big difference.

“Huntingdonshire residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste, and it’s great news that they’ve recycled 53% of their waste so far this financial year. Now we want to ask people to think about the quality of their recycling as well as the quantity. Only putting the right items in and making sure you rinse food tins and trays in used washing-up water helps ensure they are recycled effectively. What’s good for recycling is good for us – clean recycling is worth more and means we get more income to support our services.”

MetalMatters campaigns have run in 81 local authority areas and reached over 5 million households since 2012. The MetalMatters programme is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro). Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro, said: “It is great to be able to work in partnership with Huntingdonshire District Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging. This campaign has delivered significant increases in the amount of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we are aiming to repeat, and hopefully better this across Huntingdonshire.”