Recycle right – this is how

Waste authorities have moved to further clarify what can and can’t be recycled in the local council area.

In light of last week’s story on heavy duty plastic bags, the Herald took a closer look into the new waste production practices that should be taking place in households.

You can read that story here

The biggest change to the new waste regulations is food scraps which can now be put into the green waste bin rather than being sent to landfill. 

Other things that are able to be disposed of in the green bin include:

  • Prunings and other garden waste
  • Lawn clippings, leaves or flower heads
  • Weeds, seaweed and 
  • Tea bags, coffee grinds and hair.

Recycling (yellow) bins should have:

  • Tins and cans
  • Glass bottles and hars
  • Paper and cardboard including junkmail and magaazines with shredded paper in boxes
  • Paperboard cartons
  • Aliminium and steel cans 
  • Clean plant pots and seeding tubs
  • Rigid plastic such as bottles, yogurt containers and detergent bottles and
  • Small, solid plastic toys. 
  • Milk bottles with the lids off

Despite popular belief to the contrary, pizza boxes are not able to be recycled, as the oil and food which sticks to the boxes are classified as contamination. Small toys which are not solid plastic but are hollow plastic are not able to be recycled and aerosol cans must be completely de-gassed before being put into the recycling bin. 

Landfill (red bins) should see items such as:

  • Crockery or broken glass
  • Polystyrene, cling film or foam
  • Nappies
  • Ropes, hoses etc
  • Food wrappers
  • General waste and 
  • Clothes or rags
  • Plastic bags (yet residents are encouraged to dispose of at Woolworths bin)

But with the controversy around plastic bags, Woolworths has a disposable area for all different types of plastic, which include:

  • Soft plastic bags
  • Frozen food and vegetable bags
  • Fresh produce bags
  • Pasta and rice bags
  • Confectionary bags
  • Paper good packaging
  • Cereal box liners
  • Old green bags
  • Biscuit packet wrappers
  • Bread bags and 
  • 15c reusable bags. 

Despite residents being able to recycle their 15c reusable bags in the past, EnviroTec director Chris Brooker has confirmed that this is no longer the case, due to the change in processors after the China National Sword policy.

​“Residents used to be able to, our old processors would accept the plastic bags, and our new ones do too but would prefer it if residents recycled their bags directly into the bins at leading supermarkets,” Mr Brooker said. 

“This all comes down to what is changing after China’s new policy, everything is constantly changing and we are all doing as much as we can to deal with it.”

Naracoorte Lucindale Council has announced it is currently working on plans to increase local processing of waste, in order to keep costs down.

“We are doing a lot of work ourselves to try and find options that will minimise the costs,” the council’s director of operations Steve Bourne said. 

“We have a regional waste management committee who are working on a regional project with the Limestone Coast Local Government Association, along with a project with waste management experts RawTec who recently came down to look at sites and gather the statistics and will give us an idea on what we can do better.”

Residents are encouraged to practice better recycling habits at home, such as using resuable containers, and placing shredded paper into a cardboard box.

“We are always trying to keep residents up to date with accurate waste disposal, through either EnviroTec or the local council communication, and to try and get residents to help themselves out by using their bins correctly, as if it all goes in the right bin then it costs everyone less money later on,” Mr Bourne said.