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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Recycle Right to reduce landfill

Recycle Right Campaign example11 July 2019

An increase in contamination of recycled materials at the ACT Materials Recycling Facility has prompted Bega Valley Shire Council to join forces with ten other councils to help people update their recycling habits.

Today, the Canberra Region Joint Organisation and its member councils launched a new regional recycling campaign, Recycle Right, to clear up confusion and lead to better recycling practices.

The six key messages that form the Recycle Right campaign are:

  • Keep it simple: Only recycle paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers.
  • Keep out soft plastics: This includes all plastic bags, even if they have a recycling symbol, are degradable or compostable, and other soft plastics including cling wrap, chip packets and bread bags.
  • Keep out small items: Any items smaller than a credit card. All plastic lids now need to be removed from bottles and those smaller than a credit card put in your landfill bin.
  • Keep it safe: Keep out strapping, hose, netting, wires, building materials and other hazardous materials.
  • Keep it clean: Wipe or rinse 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.
  • Keep it loose: Put each item into your yellow recycling bin separately. Don’t bag, box or contain your recyclable items. 

Council’s Waste Management Coordinator, Joley Vidau, said contamination rates at the ACT Materials Recycling Facility at Hume had slowly been increasing.

“In February 2019, the facility recorded an 18% contamination rate which is up from a long-term average of 11%. The Bega Valley has a contamination rate of 15% which is made up of 10% going to landfill and 5% organic material that could go into the FOGO bin.

“We know our community is savvy when it comes to choosing the right bin and this has been demonstrated with our really low contamination rates since we started FOGO last October. It is now time to put some focus on our yellow bins and ensure we are continually providing information about how to recycle right,” said Ms Vidau.

The campaign includes social media videos and other material which aims to better inform the community about common issues that can compromise the quality of material disposed of in the recycling bin.

“Contaminated recycling may be sent to landfill if it is too heavily contaminated. It is harder to sell on domestic and international markets, may contribute to stockpiling on site and can create serious safety issues for staff.

“Given changes in the global recycling industry the campaign also aims to simplify recycling messages, highlight recent changes and support the Australian Government’s call for movement towards a circular economy,” explained Ms Vidau.

The campaign has been supported by the NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

If you would like further information on waste and recycling, download the Bega Valley Waste App, visit Council’s website at www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au or join the conversation on the Bega Valley Waste and Recycling Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BegaValleyWasteandRecycling.

Photograph: Recycle Right Campaign example

END

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