Chelmsford recycling success

October 23, 2012 7:59 PM

A lucky Chelmsford resident has won a year's supply of teabags, enough to make over 1000 cups of tea, as part of a campaign run by Chelmsford City Council and consumer goods company Unilever.

Tea lover, Elaine Finn-Davies of Purcell Cole, Writtle, was presented with the prize by Chelmsford Mayor Cllr Christopher Kingsley at a ceremony today, 23 October, alongside representatives from the City Council and Unilever.

The prize-giving rounds off an advertising campaign featuring Monkey, the PG tips mascot, which set out to raise awareness of the importance of tea bag recycling and to encourage further participation in the Council's food waste recycling service, which was launched across the city in December 2011.

Chelmsford residents were offered the chance to win the prize by participating in a survey, conducted via the Council's website and at community events, to learn of their awareness and behaviour towards food waste recycling. As the end of the first year of operation approaches, nearly 4000 tonnes of food waste has been recycled from Chelmsford households.

Chelmsford City Council's Cabinet Member for Waste Management and Recycling, Cllr Janette Potter, said: "We are extremely happy with the results of the campaign, with residents' feedback showing an increased awareness around the issue of tea bag and food waste recycling. The Council shall continue to encourage residents to recycle as much as possible and provide a broad range of services that allow them to do so."

She added: "We hope that more residents will now make use of the food waste recycling service and help to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill."

A spokesperson for Unilever said: "PG tips in collaboration with Chelmsford City Council and WRAP set out to raise awareness and challenge consumer habits to show local residents that tea bags can actually be recycled through food waste schemes. Only through winning partnerships with organisations such as WRAP and forward thinking councils can PG tips and Unilever hope to achieve their ambitious goal of reducing landfill by 50 per cent by 2020, as set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan."

Tea bags account for around 370,000 tonnes of waste every year - far more than any other unavoidable food waste produced in the UK. By recycling tea bags, Chelmsford's tea drinkers can divert this waste from landfill, where they rot down and release huge amounts of the greenhouse gas methane. With landfill space rapidly depleting, the tax to bury waste on these sites is also increasing year on year at a great cost to councils and tax payers.

To view a new recycling and waste film, and for more information on all the recycling services provided by Chelmsford City Council, please visit

New cornstarch liners for food waste bins will be delivered to the door of all households in Chelmsford from October 2012.