Watch your waste, not waist, after Easter
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.”