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Council thanks residents for patience

Thanks for recycling your bottles – and please bear with us while we deal with an unprecedented amount of festive empties.

That’s the message to residents from Portsmouth City Council, which is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to keep up with the huge amounts being deposited at bottle banks.

During the pandemic, mainly because of restrictions on pubs and restaurants, the amount of glass collected by the council has gone up by about 25% compared to last year. The closure of pubs just before Christmas increased demand further.

On 28 December alone, crews picked up about 50 tonnes – almost a fifth of the total for the whole of last December.

To cope with the increase, the council has added another day to glass collection rounds. The crew has been out every day this week, emptying the banks and clearing up glass. Collections will take place on Saturday and all of next week to keep on top of the situation.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “It’s great to see so many residents recycling glass by using our bottle banks, and doing their bit to reduce waste over the festive period.

“We’re doing all we can to keep up with the huge amount of glass that needs collecting.

“Unfortunately, the unprecedented demand has led to many sites overflowing and bags being left on the ground. We apologise to residents who have been unable to deposit their glass at a local bank, and thank them for their patience while we clear the Christmas backlog.

“We do recycle bottles left near the banks, but if you do find a bank full, we would ask that you don’t leave bags on the ground, as this could mean the glass getting broken and injuring someone. If you can keep hold of your bottles and jars for a few days, it would be greatly appreciated.

“We believe the situation will get back to normal once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

“We know that doorstep collections of glass would be popular, and we’re hoping to introduce these as soon as possible. Our priority has been increasing the amount of food waste being recycled. This is because food makes up almost 40% of refuse while glass only makes up about 6%. This is why we are trialling food waste collections in certain areas and planning to include the whole city in the near future.”