08/02/2013

Tea Bags Generate 950 Tonnes Of Waste

Belfast City Council is encouraging people not to throw used tea bags in the bin, after it was revealed that 950 tonnes of waste are generated every year by sending them to the landfill.

Belfast City Council has launched a 'Fresher, Cleaner, Greener' campaign to focus on food waste.

It said the environmentally friendly disposal of tea bags could save the city £29,000 per year.

Councillor Pat McCarthy, chairman of the council`s Health and Environmental Services Committee, said: "I was amazed when I heard how much waste was caused by throwing out teabags alone. When you consider how many cups of tea you have in a day, they seriously add up and there`s no excuse for sending them to landfill because you can dispose of them in brown bins or in food caddies.

"It costs us £76,000 to dispose of teabags via landfill and imagine what we could do with that money instead. Households need to make a special effort to recycle as much at home as possible and that includes food waste.

"If we could save £29,000 each year just by 'recycling' our teabags, think how much we could save if we composted all our food waste at home. We really need everyone on board and doing as much as they possibly can to boost the city`s recycling rate."

About 60,000 homes across Belfast have brown bins, according to the council.

A further 7,000 homes have kitchen caddies as part of the council`s food waste collection scheme.

Councillor Pat McCarthy added: "Last year, waste collection in Belfast cost ratepayers around £15m. We currently recycle around 32% of all waste, but around 70% of waste can be recycled so we still have a long way to go.

"Under EU directives, we must get our recycling rate to at least 50% by 2015 or else face massive fines, which ultimately will impact on the ratepayer."

(IT)

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