RECYCLING UPDATE - CHANGES TO ITEMS ACCEPTED FOR RECYCLING

The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council who processes the contents of the Town's recycling bins has made some changes to the items which are accepted in yellow-topped recycling bins.

These changes are part of a broader effort to reduce contamination and make recycling easier for everyone to understand. By having clear and consistent information about recycling items it not only makes it easier to understand which bin to put it in, but in the long term will lead to better outcomes for recycling in Western Australia.

Why have the rules of recycling changed?

In the past there’s been a lot of different information about what goes into your recycling bin depending on which local government area you live in. This has meant that over time, there has been some confusion about just exactly what can and can’t go into the yellow topped bin.

Changes in the industry and tighter restrictions on recyclable products now mean that some materials previously accepted will now be excluded, in an effort to reduce contamination and produce a cleaner stream of recyclable materials

Many of the items that should not be placed into your recycling bins either cannot be recovered through your kerbside collection or can get mixed up with other streams and spoil good quality recyclables. Some items, such as hazardous materials can even pose risks to staff and equipment involved in the recycling process.

The Town of East Fremantle is working with the SMRC to make sure all messaging across the council is updated as soon as possible. While there may be some short-term challenges associated with these changes, we are working towards better outcomes for recycling in WA.

What are the major changes?

Aerosols

While Aerosol cans are made from recyclable materials, they can pose a risk to staff and equipment during the process of collecting and separating the contents of your recycling bins.

Aerosol cans are classified as Hazardous household waste (HHW) and instead of being placed in your kerbside recycling bins, should be taken to your local HHW disposal site.

Other HHW items include paint and paint tins, batteries, gas cylinders, fluorescent tubes and chemicals and should not go into any of your household bins. These items can be disposed of at no charge at several collection sites around Perth. To find your closest drop off location visit https://m.recycleright.wa.gov.au/locator/hhw-disposal.html

Soft or scrunchable plastics

Soft, scrunchable plastics like plastic bags, bread bags, plastic wrappers and glad wrap are difficult products to recycle through a kerbside recycling bin and often get mixed up with other lightweight streams like paper at the recovery facility, causing contamination of other materials such as paper and cardboard.

These items will no longer be accepted in kerbside recycling bins.. The best option that is currently available for these types of plastics is to gather them together and take them to a RedCycle drop off bin, which are located at most major supermarkets. RedCycle collects clean soft plastics from drop off points around the country and works with Australian manufacturer Replas to turn this material into a range of recycled plastic products.

A good test to see if it’s a soft plastic is the ‘scrunch test’ - if you can scrunch the plastic item up into a ball then it can be taken to a soft plastic drop off bin. You can check the full list of items RedCycle accepts and find your closest drop location off at www.redcycle.net.au.

How should you place items into your recycling bin?

All recycling items should be clean, dry with lids removed and placed into your recycling bin loosely. Recycling tied up in bags cannot be recycled, as the bags cannot be opened and the materials inside are also unable to be identified.

For more information, go to https://recycleright.wa.gov.au/