HOUSEHOLD efforts to recycle have increased by 15 per cent across Dudley since the coronavirus lockdown, council bosses have confirmed as they urged people to celebrate National Recycle Week.

The 17th annual National Recycle Week runs until this Sunday (September 27) and the theme 'Together - We Recycle' is about thanking the nation for continuing to play its part during this difficult year.

Recycle Week 2020 aims to recognise the sacrifices key workers and citizens have made to keep recycling going during the pandemic and create positive change in the world.

Recycling and waste key workers have carried on collecting while the world slowed down around them and the borough witnessed an unprecedented appreciation for bin crews, who received letters, cards and posters from grateful residents of all ages.

Many councils have reported an increase in household recycling and in Dudley recycling has gone up by 15 per cent since lockdown in March, with glass recycling up by 30 per cent.

Residents have also recycled more than 4000 tonnes of paper and card to date in 2020, saving the equivalent of 70,000 trees.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley's cabinet member for public realm, said: "We know how much our residents value our recycling service, and I’m thrilled to see that our recycling figures are up, showing that our residents are making the extra effort to recycle as much as they can.

"The recognition our crews have received in the form of friendly waves, notes, cards and gifts left out for them is so heart-warming too.

"Despite everything that’s happened, there’s still one small but powerful act every one of us can perform, every day, no matter who we are, where we’re from or what we do, to enact positive change on the world around us and I hope people will continue to embrace this ethos into the future."

Peter Maddox, director at WRAP UK, said: "It’s fantastic to see that despite everything that has been thrown at them this year, more people than ever in Dudley borough are taking responsibility for protecting the environment by choosing to recycle. This is something we can all do, wherever we live – an individual action that, when performed by everyone, adds up to a huge change.

"Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to thank everyone for continuing to recycle, whatever their circumstances and to celebrate the way we have all pulled together. There has been a positive leap forward in attitudes that we must capitalise on so Dudley borough can do even better in the coming year."

For more information about recycling in the borough go to

Anyone wanting extra recycling boxes or bags can call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345, email or request them online via the residents section of the council website.

Bosses at intu Merry Hill have also been celebrating National Recycle Week and have revealed the efforts that go on behind the scenes to ensure items are recycled, diverted to composting or converted into energy.

A spokesman for intu said through its recycling programme – which covers materials including cardboard, glass and metal – Merry Hill has played its part in helping to positively impact the environment and save natural resources including, in 2019, saving more than 13,000 trees, by recovering 688 tonnes of paper and cardboard for recycling; saving over 20 million litres of water, enough to fill 337 home swimming pools; saving enough energy to power 664 homes for a year (six million kwh of energy); and cutting carbon emissions by almost 3 million cubic metres, equivalent to the annual emissions of 405 average households.

Rachael Jackson, general manager at Merry Hill, said: “For years, sustainability has been high on the agenda for consumers and businesses alike, but we’ve seen it become even more of a priority this year, with many enjoying a taste of cleaner air, re-evaluating their habits and taking a closer look at the steps they can take to reduce their impact on the planet.

“As a key part of our community, at Merry Hill we have a responsibility to operate in a sustainable way and our goal is on ensuring that none of the waste we produce is sent to landfill. We are encouraged that many of our retailers continue to get behind our waste strategy and we look forward to having an even more positive impact on the future.”