Don’t waste recyclables
THE Southern Metropolitan Regional Council has used National Recycling Week to urge the community to put recyclables in the correct bin.
THE people of Perth have been asked to increase their effort when it comes to recycling.
A recent audit by the South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) – which operates the Regional Resource Recovery Centre (RRRC) in Canning Vale – found just 46 per cent of aluminium cans and 52 per cent of plastic containers were being recycled.
That was despite the RRRC diverting more than 65 per cent of materials collected from residential recycling bins, general waste bins and kerbside green waste away from landfill five years in a row.
Ahead of National Recycling Week from November 13 to 19, SMRC chairman and City of Fremantle councillor Doug Thompson said there was plenty of room for improvement.
“There is a strong awareness of recycling in the community but there is still a fair amount of good recyclable materials not being placed in the correct bins and we’re not entirely sure why,” he said.
Mr Thompson said it was important things such as bottles and jars were rinsed or scraped to reduce the chance they could contaminate clean recyclables.
He said lids should be re- moved from products, while it was important recycling was not thrown in the bin in a plastic bag “as we can’t open the bags”.
“Once separated and sorted, items are sent into either domestic or international markets where they are reprocessed into new products,” he said.
Research from Planet Ark’s guide What Goes Around: Why Buying Recycled Matters showed that while Australians had some idea of the products made from recycled materials, they were less aware just how much could be diverted from landfill.
Recycling programs manager Ryan Collins said “we’re actually surrounded by products made from our recycling”; from wallets and purses made from tyre tubes to surfboard fins made from ocean plastic and eye glasses made from milk bottle lids.
“Inspiring discoveries from research and development projects are finding more and more ways to utilise waste, so the list of products made from
recycled materials will continue to grow,” he said.
Mr Thompson said another point of importance was the need to keep organic materials out of landfill.
He said most household waste could either be recycled or turned into compost, with everyone having “an important role to play by sorting their waste correctly”.
He said the SMRC was hopeful Melville’s three-bin Food Organics Garden Organics trial, which includes a dedicated bin for food scraps and natural materials from the garden, would help produce a cleaner compost for use on local parks and gardens, while reducing costs and sending less waste to landfill.
He said the trial, which was rolled out to 7000 local homes in October, had shown positive early results, with most participants adjusting well to the changes.
Waste education officer Isabelle Marie with recyclable goods diverted from landfill.