How to recycle right
A new Recycle Right Campaign to keep it coming ‘round has been launched this week by North East Waste and its member Northern Rivers Councils, including Tweed.
The campaign reinforces the importance of recycling correctly and focuses on some key things we can all do to reduce contamination in our yellow bins.
Why do we need to take action?
In the wake of Chinaõs National Sword Policy which came into force January this year, the campaign aims to simplify recycling messages and highlight recent changes.
For a long time China has been the largest importer of the worldõs recycling, accepting over 30 million tonnes every year and ultimately having the capability to drive recycling prices and practices world-wide.
Until a few years ago, China accepted recyclables with a relaxed contamination level of around 5 per cent Ð contamination being incorrect items mixed in with the material to be recycled.
The National Sword Policy now enforces a strict contamination limit of 0.5 per cent, which understandably has sent the global recycling industry into shock with much of the worldõs recycling no longer meeting this new export standard.
Councilõs Unit Coordinator, Rod Dawson said it was important to remember recycling is a product that forms part of a continuous cycle.
Òunlike landfill, a closed system where items are buried in the ground and lost forever, recycling keeps coming around.ó Mr Dawson said.
Òwhere our recycling goes is dependent on market needs Ð the existence and profitability of companies who use recycled content to manufacture new items. The recycling industry is everchanging and therefore what we can put into our yellow lid bins changes accordingly.ó
What can I do?
Follow these six key Recycle Right messages when using your yellow lid recycling bin:
1. Keep it simple Ð only recycle hard plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminium cans, paper and cardboard.
2. Keep out soft plastics Ð including ALL plastic bags, even if they have a recycling symbol, are degradable or compostable, and other soft plastics such as plastic film, chip packets, bread bags and biscuit trays.
3. Keep out small items Ð anything smaller than a credit card. All lids must now be removed from bottles and those smaller than a credit card placed in the red lid bin.
4. Keep it safe Ð no strapping, hose, netting, wires, building materials, broken glass, chemicals and other hazardous materials that can harm the MRF workers or damage the machines.
5. Keep it clean Ð rinse or wipe any excess food and drink from all bottles, containers and tins before placing them in your recycling bin. Keep out food scraps, nappies and soiled paper.
6. Keep it loose Ð put each item into your yellow lid bin separately, donõt bag, box or contain your recyclable items. To find out more about the Recycling Right Campaign visit www.tweed/nsw.gov.au/waste