Watch your waste, not waist, af­ter Easter

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE -

Bun­bury Har­vey Re­gional Coun­cil waste ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Emma Clay hopes peo­ple will roll their Easter egg foil into a ball the size of a ten­nis ball. Alu­minium can be re­cy­cled an in­fi­nite num­ber of times with­out los­ing its qual­ity, but only if it makes it to the smelter. Any­thing smaller than this will fall through the fil­ter and will not be re­cy­cled.

FOR any­one who in­dulged in a few too many choco­late eggs over the long week­end, there is a way to ap­pease at least some of that Easter re­gret.

The alu­minium foil from Easter eggs is 100 per cent re­cy­clable, but only if it is rolled into a ten­nis-ball sized lump.

“The first step in the re­cy­cling process is a big fil­ter, which ba­si­cally shakes off loose ma­te­rial, usu­ally glass shards,” Bun­bury Har­vey Re­gional Coun­cil waste ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Emma Clay said.

“Any­thing smaller than the size of a ten­nis ball just falls through the fil­ter.”

While ma­te­ri­als such as plas­tic lose in­tegrity in the re­cy­cling process and have to be “down­cy­cled” to lower grade prod­ucts, alu­minium does not lose its qual­ity or in­tegrity, mean­ing it can be re­made into food-grade prod­ucts over and over.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Clay, about 75 per cent of all the alu­minium ever pro­duced is still in use.

“Alu­minium is the best ma­te­rial, be­cause it can be re­cy­cled an in­fi­nite num­ber of times,” she said. “It never loses its strength.” Ac­cord­ing to Ms Clay, the best Easter wrap­ping is just foil on its own, with­out extra plas­tic or card­board pack­ag­ing.

“If it’s too late for this year, peo­ple can re­mem­ber for next year to buy choco­lates wrapped only in foil,” Ms Clay said.

She also en­cour­ages peo­ple to avoid sin­gle-use items like plas­tic or pa­per plates at their fes­tive gath­er­ings, but the foil bar­be­cue tray still gets the green light.

“Just scrape off the food scraps, give it a rinse, and it’s ready to go into your re­cy­cle bin,” she said.

And it’s not just a les­son for Easter, as ev­i­denced by the tightly-rolled alu­minium ball sit­ting on the desk of Ms Clay’s of­fice at the Stan­ley Road waste fa­cil­ity.

“Any­time you use foil, keep it in a ball nearby and add to it un­til it’s the right size to be re­cy­cled.”

Pic­ture: Jon Gell­weiler

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