140,000 visitors to Silverstone but ‘no recycling facilities’ racegoer complains

Crowds at Silverstone cannot recycle their rubbish, a visitor claims 2019 NNL-190715-084939009
Crowds at Silverstone cannot recycle their rubbish, a visitor claims 2019 NNL-190715-084939009

Visitors to Silverstone say they were dismayed that the circuit did not provide recycling facilities in the main areas.

Sarah Hammett contacted the Banbury Guardian after her partner, Ian Hughes,was unable to dispose of his plastics, bottles, cans and paper waste separately.

F1 Ian Hughes who is keen to recycle waste NNL-190716-152624001

F1 Ian Hughes who is keen to recycle waste NNL-190716-152624001

Mr Hughes said the only option within the main site was giant bins on wheels into which everything, including food waste, was being thrown.

Silverstone said this week it does not have jurisdiction over mobile refreshment outlets but their in-house catering was very eco-friendly.

Ms Hammett said: “Ian was staying in the camp site with thousands of others, yet there were apparently few if any recycling facilities anywhere.

“I messaged Silverstone to see if they could tell me where we could recycle but to no avail. It is shocking and disappointing that in this day and age, with all the publicity and awareness about our global crisis, they are doing very little, if anything at all.”

Silverstone attracted over 140,000 visitors at the weekend 2019 NNL-190715-085204009

Silverstone attracted over 140,000 visitors at the weekend 2019 NNL-190715-085204009

Ms Hammett said each tent wa given a bag for recycling cans, plastic and cardboard but in the actual venue there was nothing.

“You could take your own food and drink in and buy lots of different food and drink, cans and bottles but there was no where to recycle. There was an area between the camp site and the main area where a lot of the campers eat and drink with more vendors there, yet still no recycling facilities.

“My partner kept the same plastic pint glass each night for going to different bars as nothing was going to be recycled. Even when event staff were asked about it, they were disappointed that there was nothing they could do.

“All the rubbish was being put in huge bins on wheels, everything got put in these - including food waste. Ian said campers even left behind their barbecues, fridges and anything they didn’t want to take home.”

Silverstone spokesman Alison Hill said in-house catering has reduced its plastic in retail areas, replacing plastic bottles with cans and this would be extended. The venue is plastic straw free, she said and Silverstone’s disposables range has become 100 per cent compostable.

“This is being rolled out over the coming months and includes plates, cups, lids, takeaway boxes, napkins, takeaway bags, and knives and forks,” she said.

“We send all our general waste to an incinerator rather than landfill – which isn’t the long-term goal but half way there. We aim to send all food waste and compostable waste to a compostables site within the next 12 months once a location is made available.”

Ms Hill said Silverstone has started talks to introduce recycling to its retail outlets and it was looking to introduce reusable bottles for staff, marshalls and racemakers.

Ms Hammett said: “This all looks fantastic but most is ‘in the future’ or ‘looking to do’ rather than now, or behind the scenes rather than public.There was nothing visible for visitors. Members of staff didn’t appear to know either. Such a perfect event to publicise their environmental credentials. Such a waste to send recyclables to incineration.”

She said: “Ian had a wonderful time at the Grand Prix. Silverstone is an amazing venue. However, when you do what you can at home to be more environmentally friendly, it’s disappointing that a multi million pound event doesn’t seem to be able to do the same.”