National Recycling Week is Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November
Planet Ark’s theme for National Recycling Week 2018 is From Waste War to Recycling Reboot aims to resolve confusion surrounding how to recycle right and what happens to our recycling, following a range of materials on their journey through the emerging circular economy.
National Recycling Week activities such as Buy It Back Day, Friday File Fling, Big Aussie Swap and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge are designed to bring recycling to schools, social or community groups and businesses, in addition to the recycling actions people take at home.
Ideas for home:
- Host swap party for clothes, books etc
- Learn more about recycling – what you can/can’t recycle and what happens to it
- Use the free My Local Services app with information and tips on recycling
- Get kids involved in recycling games – eg. the mini-bin game/ KESAB’s interactive ‘stuff at home’ game or make your own recycled paper
- Commit to buying recycled, preloved and recyclable products
Ideas for the office/workplace:
- Host a Friday file fling
- Host a recycling drive
- Set up recycling systems
- Commit to buying recycled, preloved and recyclable products
Ideas for Schools:
- Book a Recycle Relay or paper making session with KESAB
- Schools Recycle Right Challenge through Planet Ark
- Register for the Less to Landfill Challenge
- Wipe out Waste resources
It is important that we buy recycled products, here’s why:
An important part of the circular economy is buying goods with recycled content, but just why does it matter? Buying recycled serves a variety of purposes such as:
• Closing the loop – by purchasing a recycled product, you are keeping the product, or its components and materials, in the loop and out of landfill and groundwater.
• Growing markets, encouraging manufacturers to use recycled materials and rethink product design.
• Creating new business opportunities through new technologies and material collection networks. It is forecast that the circular economy in Australia could become an industry worth $26bn by 2025.
• Minimising the consumption of depleting resources saves water and energy as well as reduces pollution.
Remember to recycle these in your yellow lid recycle bin:
Keep these items out of the yellow lid recycling bin!
Plastic bags and other soft plastics. – Recycle through REDCycle bins at supermarkets, see Recycling Tips.
Food scraps – compost through your compost bin or food and garden organics/FOGO bin
Tissues and paper towel – place in your food and garden organics/FOGO bin.
Clothing and fabrics – Recycle through options listed here
Polystyrene foam packaging, trays and cups – place in the general waste/waste to landfill bin
Crockery, Pyrex or drinking glasses – place in the general waste/waste to landfill bin
Mirrors, oven-proof or window glass – place (wrapped and bagged) in the general waste/waste to landfill bin
Light globes – Click here for Recycling options
Plush/Soft Toys – donate them to a charity store
Does my recycling need to be washed and clean before I place it in the recycle bin?
Please ensure that your recyclables do not contain food residue or liquids. To do this empty containers and give them a quick rinse. (To save water, rinse your recyclables after washing the dishes or get your pet dog or cat to lick them out, just make sure there are not sharp edges first!). This prevents contamination of the recycling and your recyclables going to waste.
Where can I recycle my soft plastic bags, wrapping and packaging?
Drop them into the REDcycle bin at your nearest participating supermarket
Does the triangular symbol with numbers on plastic containers mean it’s recyclable?
No. The triangle with a number from 1 to 7 is not a recycling symbol but rather a Plastic Identification Code. It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable3. Hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in the yellow lidded recycling bin except for polystyrene foam and plastic bags4.
Find out more about plastic codes here: Deciphering plastic codes
Can empty, dry paint tins can go in the recycling bin?
Why is recycling important?
Recycling is great for our environment, economy and society!
Each time we recycle, we reduce the demand on our natural resources, such as trees, fossil fuels and raw materials mined from the earth. Recycling also reduces the amount of waste we send to landfill and pollution we discard into our environment. Another benefit is the significant water and energy savings. For example, recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required to produce it from raw materials. This figure is 70% for plastics, 40% for paper5and 30% for glass6.Paper can be recycled many times, but if it’s sent to landfill, it breaks down to produce greenhouse gases instead. By recycling paper we help to reduce two of the contributing factors to global warming being deforestation and greenhouse gas production.
Recycling contributes to our economy by conserving resources, reducing energy use and production costs as well as creating jobs. Recyclables are valuable and can be sold. Recycling is cheaper than sending materials to landfill. If we reduce the amount of material sent to landfill then councils can pass on these savings to residents and invest in other community services.
Recycling plays an important role in reducing our reliance on sourcing not only our own natural resources but also those from other countries. eg. Oil which is required for making plastic.
By investing time and effort into educating our children of the importance of recycling, they are more likely to adopt these habits and continue them in the future.
East Waste collects the recyclables and delivers them to a processing facility. The material is sorted by both people and machines into its different streams.
a) Initial Sorting: Recyclables travel up the main conveyor. Contaminants such as food waste & green waste are removed here.
b) Main Sorting: Recyclables such as glass /plastics/ metal and aluminium cans are separated from paper and cardboard via a vibrating “disc screen”
c) Screen Paper/Cardboard: Cardboard is manually separated from paper. Material is baled ready for sale to paper mills for making new packaging products.
d) Magnet Separation Process: Steel cans are removed and baled using a magnet.
e) Screen Glass: Glass recyclables pass through an automated ceramic detection system removing ceramic product which contaminates the glass stream. Glass is optically sorted by colour and stored in bays ready for sale to glass packaging manufacturers.
f) Air Classifier Separation: Lightweight recyclables like aluminium and plastic bottles are separated from the heavy recyclables such as glass as the products move across an air field, whereby light material is separated from heavy.
g) Optical Sorting – Plastic: Mixed plastic bottles go through an automated optical sorting system which separates the different types of plastic grades such as PET/White HDPE/Coloured HDPE/PP
h) Storage/Final Processing: Plastics, Cardboard, Paper, Aluminium, Steel and Glass recyclables have all been separated, baled or placed into storage bays ready for delivery into manufacturing processing plants