Don’t waste re­cy­clables

Melville Times - - Front Page - Bryce Luff

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. Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d476117

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d476261

Waste ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Is­abelle Marie with re­cy­clable goods di­verted from land­fill.

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