Where can I recycle my wood pellet packaging?
Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 11 March 2014 at 8:42 am
Q: I have a new red 24 pellet burner. I use one 15kg recyclable plastic bag per day. I live in Flintshire and the authority will not allow collection of plastic recyclables. They suggested I put them in ordinary refuse for landfill! They even said I could drive 12 miles to a skip site. What to do?
A: As you know, the plastic packaging is essential to keep the pellets dry, so dispensing with the packaging, or going for a more environmentally sound alternative is not currently an option. And at the moment not many councils do provide recycling facilities for plastic packaging.
Nor, as far as we’ve been able to find out, are there any pellet companies who offer to collect and recycle the packaging on their customers’ behalf.
We thought we’d go straight to the top with this question and contact the UK Pellet Council. The UKPC chair, Richard Smith, admits that there is a problem with customers not being able to recycle plastic packaging but that collection by individual companies was still some way off.
“This is an industry that is still very small and logistics is a big challenge as it is,” he said. “Almost everybody uses third parties to deliver so sending couriers to then collect used packaging would be very difficult.”
Mr Smith did say he would bring the matter up at the next UKPC meeting.
As the industry grows, there may be companies who seek to differentiate themselves by offering collection of recyclable packaging but there doesn't seem to be any promises for the near future.
In the meantime, Mr Smith said, it should be up to local authorities to start offering the service.
“People should put pressure on their councils,” he said.
You may consider it worth lobbying your local authority to supply a recycling service, but as you know that cost will ultimately be passed onto you, the taxpayer.
Getting your wood pellet supplier to take responsibility for their own packaging is probably a more effective long term tool. Once one manufacturer starts to offer this service, the cost of having to collect and recycle packaging balanced against the cost of potentially losng a customer to a company who does, may encourage more to follow suit.
So get out there and lobby your supplier – these things don't usually change until the consumer starts making a stand!
From the blog
Twelve facts about wood pellet fuel (Feb 2010)
Biomass fuel and supply (March 2009)
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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