We know that Victorians are committed to the idea of recycling and the need to use our resources effectively and not waste them. We have, for a number of years now, had a kerbside co-mingled recycling system that most residents utilise – and for the most part do a pretty good job on.
The recent challenges with recycling in Victoria have served to highlight not only why recycling is important, but also the need to improve our recycling habits. Materials that we are able to recycle in our kerbside collections are mostly packaging materials that can be reprocessed into new packaging materials or other products – thus ensuring that material has more than one life.
Residents in most Victoria councils have been recycling for many years and the result has been a significant reduction in what we send to landfill. It has also resulted in new businesses that have been able to utilise those recycled materials – but there are still many more opportunities.
It has been a constant challenge to continue educating our communities on recycling and how we want it presented in the recycling bin. We know that people receive a lot of information on so many issues these days that it is difficult to cut through with a clear recycling message.
Some of the simple messages are:
- Keep your recyclables loose in the recycling bin.
- Soft plastics cannot be placed in your recycling bin but can be recycled at a participating Coles and Woolworths stores.
- The aluminium can is one of the most sustainable packaging solutions available – as it can be recycled after use again and again.
- Steel is recyclable and all empty food cans can be placed in your recycling bins.
- Aerosol cans are one of the easiest of all the steel cans to recycle. However, on average only 35 per cent are being recycled.
- All hard plastic containers including yoghurt, juice bottles, ice cream and take away containers can be recycled.
- All paper and cardboard products can be placed into your recycling bin
- Nappies cannot be placed in your recycling bin
- While plastic, glass, steel and aluminium food containers can be recycled, food scraps cannot. Please empty your containers before placing them into the recycling bin.
- If in doubt leave it out or check your local council’s website.
Reducing contamination rates in recycling is key to improving the recycling system in Australia and keeping recycling costs down for the community. Making an effort to get recycling will see improvements in reducing what goes to landfill and the quality of our recycling.