A campaign aimed at promoting good recycling practices and cutting down on the mountains of waste sent to landfill over the Christmas period has been launched.

The Southern Region Waste Management Office has published a list of items that often end up contaminating recycling bins, having been mistakenly identified as recyclable. Among the items are foil containers or crisp bags, crisp tubes, jars, nappies, plastic film and soiled packaging.

Recyclables get rejected if the recycling companies spot contamination that can spoil the quality of the recycled materials and the sorting machinery. This waste can be very expensive to dispose of while it also leads to more waste than is required being sent to landfill.

Plastics with recycling codes 1, 2 and 5 are fully recyclable and should always be put in the recycling bin. These codes are located at the base of all plastic containers. Householders should make sure bottles are empty by discarding all liquids.

Packaging that contained food such as yoghurt, margarine and soup should be rinsed, while all plastic bottles and cardboard should be squashed or flattened before being placed in a recycling bin. This also creates more space in the bin.

The Southern Region Waste Management Office also has a number of pre-Christmas tips which include buying presents that do not require excessive packaging, wrapping presents with recycled paper, sending festive e-cards to cut down on packaging, supporting local and fairtrade producers, recycling shopping bags and composting food waste.

Householders are also being urged to recycle all packaging and take empty bottles and tins to one of the many bring banks located throughout the region. A full list of recycling centres and bring banks can be found on www.repak.ie.

The Christmas waste prevention message is the latest initiative of the Southern Waste Regional Office under its ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’.

Ten local authorities in Cork, Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipperary and Kerry have been set a number of key targets in relation waste prevention activities.

Visit www.southernwasteregion.ie for more.