Portsmouth residents living in houses of multiple occupancy are being asked to do their bit in the city's drive to increase recycling rates.

Portsmouth City Council is asking for residents' support in tackling contamination of recycled materials, the biggest issue it faces with recycling.
Contamination is when people put things in their recycling bins that they shouldn't. In some cases, just a few ill-judged items can spoil a whole wheelie bin full of recycling. 

As much as 15% - that's over 100 tonnes a month - of what goes in recycling bins in Portsmouth can't be recycled. Even though this rubbish can be removed from the recycling stream at the sorting facility, this process is expensive.

Portsmouth isn't alone - the story is the same across the country. It's estimated that 76% of households in England are guilty of contaminating their recycling. But Portsmouth City Council isn't taking this lying down - it's taking action.

Cllr Dave Ashmore said: "We know it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with what can be recycled, so we've developed a guide to help people recycle more. It can be confusing for students to go from halls of residence, where waste is dealt with by a private company, to living in residential households and having to sort the waste themselves.

"We're making great strides to recycle more in Portsmouth - we've installed the first carton recycling banks in the city, added more glass recycling banks and the food waste trial has seen an extra 83 tonnes being diverted to recycling in just seven weeks.

"But there's always more we can do to make our city greener, cleaner and safer. Recycling can help reduce your carbon footprint, and even small changes from individuals can make a big difference."

Teams from the council will be visiting properties in areas of the city including Southsea and Somerstown over the coming weeks, to talk to residents and distribute the new guides. These areas have been selected because they have higher numbers of houses of multiple occupancy and the council's data shows these have the greatest potential to make improvements with contamination. Visit portsmouth.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish for more information.

It's time to take action

Portsmouth City Council is investing in their climate change response, both by providing resource and supporting significant financial investment into schemes that will reduce carbon emissions and make the city a cleaner, greener and safer place to live.

Anyone interested in receiving news on the council's plans to tackle climate change can sign up to receive email updates by going to portsmouth.gov.uk/climateaction