A new survey reveals that the huge deposits - which total 162.5 million individual glass containers - were collected in Rehab Recycle bottle banks around the country in the last 12 months. This marks an increase of 20 per cent on the previous highest deposits recorded in 2004. Rehab Recycle is responsible for 90 per cent of domestic glass recycling in Ireland.
Compiled as part of Repak’s National Recycling Week, the study also shows the people of Cork are again the country’s best recyclers with deposits of some 50 bottles and jars for each man woman and child in county already in 2005. Next best is Galway with an average of 44 items of glass recycled per person, followed by Leitrim on 43.
The largest increase in glass recycling came in County Cavan - up by 45 per cent to 511 tonnes of glass, followed by Limerick where figures rose by 38 per cent. The bring bank at the Tesco shopping centre in Bray claimed the honour of being Ireland’s busiest bring site with deposits totalling a staggering 1,037,000 bottles and jars.
“These returns represent an extraordinary effort to recycle by most Irish people,” said Rehab Recycle general manager, Bob Rowat. “Put in perspective, if you laid down all of the bottles and jars we collected over the last 12 months end to end, they would stretch around the world with plenty to spare.
“Over the years there has been plenty of criticism of the public’s lack of involvement in recycling and of the unnecessary damage this is causing to the environment. These figures show the tide has well and truly turned and from being one of the EU’s worst recycling nations a few short years ago, we are fast becoming one of the best - a crucial factor in efforts to preserve Ireland’s green image.”
Mr. Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Repak, said: 'In addition to the huge success of glass recycling we are on target to meet our 2005 EU recycling target of 50 per cent of all used packaging. The challenge to increase this rate will heavily depend on householders digging deeper into their bins to stop more recyclable packaging going to landfill. During this year’s Repak Recycling week we are congratulating established household recyclers and encouraging new recyclers by distributing 50,000 recycling bags in conjunction with Rehab.'
NOTE: Rehab Recycle has a nationwide network of 1,800 bring centres and is part of a unique integrated employment model and has a workforce of 105 people, 58 of whom are people with disability.