Re-think your rubbish – small changes can make a big difference


Residents are being encouraged to “re-think their rubbish” with next week (November 11-17) being National Recycling Week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the week’s increased focus on recycling was a timely reminder that small changes could make a big difference to the environmental health of the city.

“People need to be aware that what they do at home can impact the sustainability of our city,” she said.

“For example last financial year approximately 950 truckloads of waste that could have been recycled went to landfill, primarily because it was placed in the wrong bin.

“Another issue is contamination being placed into recycling bins, with an average of 10 per cent of material in recycling bins ending up going to landfill because of contamination from everyday rubbish such as bagged garbage, garden and food waste.”

Cr Williams urged householders not to package recyclables in plastic bags but, rather, to use cardboard boxes or place them loose into the recycling bin.

“Soft plastics (plastic bags, chip packets, bread bags, cling film etc), garden waste, items of clothing and non-recyclable glass are commonly placed in recycling bins, contaminating the recyclable items,” she said.

“People may be unaware that these items are unable to be recycled in the yellow top recycling bin.

“But then there other items such as soiled nappies, food and everyday bagged household waste also being sent for recycling, this is an obvious case of laziness, and incredibly frustrating for those doing the right thing.”

Redland City Division 9 Councillor and environmental spokesperson Paul Gleeson believed some residents may not be aware of the impact of not recycling correctly.

“There may be some residents who didn’t realise that recycling and general waste actually get taken to two completely separate places,” he said.

“The general waste gets transported to a landfill in Brisbane, while the recycling is taken to a separate recycling facility. This means contamination cannot be easily removed from recycling and put in the landfill and vice versa.”

More information is available at Council’s website www.redland.qld.gov.au or at www.recyclingweek.planetark.org.