Did you know that National Recycling Week runs from 10 to 16 November 2014? It was founded in 1996 by Planet Ark and highlights the environmental benefits of re-use and recycling programs, while making participation enjoyable and easy through a number of community events and programs.
Come along to some of the great events; Schools Recycle Right Challenge, the Friday File Fling and The Big Aussie Swap. These are created to get schools, community groups and businesses recycling, in addition to what we do at home.
Do you know which items can be recycled at the kerbside? Contamination in recycling bins is not always due to a lack of care or concern, but rather due to genuine misunderstandings about what can be recycled. A new report from Planet Ark, entitled ‘The Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers’ addresses the four materials that most confuse people and the common mistakes made.
Surprisingly, 50% of people surveyed got at least one item wrong when asked if it is recyclable. For example, only 34% of Australians know that empty aerosol cans are recyclable in their kerbside bins. The main reason given for not recycling aerosols was a mistaken belief that they will explode in the recycling. Once they are empty it is perfectly safe to put them in the recycling.
Also 26% of people put their recycling in a plastic bag, then into the bin. Unfortunately, items contained within the plastic bags end up being sent to landfill as the systems in the sorting facility can’t separate the various materials and the bags clog the machines. Recycling must be loose in the recycling bin to be sorted effectively.
Residents can find local recycling options on the council page of Planet Ark’s website recyclingnearyou.com.au/ This service provides reuse, recycling and safe disposal information for a wide range of different materials.
Your local council will probably have special events, such as the Close the Loop Tour with the City of Stonnington on Wed 12 Nov. Find out about the whole waste journey on a tour of the SITA landfill site, REPLAS and the Polytrade Material Recovery Facility (MRF). See where your waste goes at Sita landfill, discover where your recyclables are taken for sorting at the MRF and Stonnington Waste Transfer Station and discover some amazing products that can be made with new recycling technologies at REPLAS.
For more information visit website recyclingweek.planetark.org/ or call the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712 for further information about any of the National Recycling Week activities.
Here are some practical ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
- Buy products with minimal packaging and recycle any packaging where possible
- Buy in bulk products that have a long shelf-life
- Avoid individually wrapped items
- Choose the concentrated or refillable form of products like juices and cleaning products
- Use a basket, backpack, box or reusable shopping bag instead of plastic bags. Keep them handy in the boot of your car.
- Reuse your plastic bags and look for products that can be reused many times
- Choose durable and reusable items rather than disposable ones
- Carry your own water bottle or reuse water bottles.
- Buy products made from recycled materials or with recyclable or reusable packaging. Plastic packaging that is marked code 1, 2 or 3 is commonly recycled in most municipalities; several councils now also accept codes 4-7 (check with your local council )
- Avoid packaging made of more than one material that can’t be separated or put in your waste recycling bin, e.g. plastic laminate on paper.