Recycling was given a head start at Epsom Derby

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Racegoers at 2009’s Derby at Epsom Downs in June recycled thousands of plastic bottles and cans under a new initiative for big events.

Surrey residents are encouraged to recycle at more locations outside of their homes and recycling bins were set up across the Downs to collect plastic bottles and cans from the public for this event.

In all, at least 5,000 bottles and cans were collected across the two-day meeting.

The idea of recycling at major events is a joint initiative between Coca-Cola Enterprises and Surrey County Council and the Derby is the first of a series of events that will feature the recycling bins across the country.

Staff from Surrey County Council’s Environment team were on hand throughout the event to talk to race-goers about recycling and to man the bins as required.

David Harmer, Surrey’s executive member for the environment told the local press: “Surrey is committed to increasing recycling and reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill.

“Recycling at major events is a new and exciting concept that the county council is proud to be pioneering and we hope we will be able to extend this to other events across the county.

“Ensuring recycling becomes the norm requires the combined efforts of Government, businesses and residents and this scheme at the Derby is a fantastic example of partnership working between the county council, Epsom Downs racecourse and Coca-Cola.”

Helen Wright, of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: “The Derby was our first ever event “recycle zone” and we can say it was an overwhelming success.

“Over the two days, many people used the recycle zones, which made it easy for people to choose to recycle exactly when they needed to.”

This work builds on the recycle zones that have already been established at Frimley Park, Ashford and St Peters, East Surrey and Epsom Hospitals in 2009, which have led to big increases in waste put into recycling containers across these hospitals.

Claiming, as the councils do, that this has led to an increase in recycling is something that remains debatable for in that case it depends on what amount of the separated waste thus collected in actual fact ever is recycled proper.

We keep getting told that this amount of waste is being recycled when, in fact, it is just the separated waste being collected which is that amount. The true recycling rate is not reflected in such figures however much the councils may wish people to believe that.

© 2009