Issue 14 | May 2017
War On Waste
We all know waste is an increasing problem globally. On Tuesday 16 May, the ABC aired the first episode of War on Waste, hosted by Craig Reucassel. In this fascinating three-part series, Craig shows us how much waste we produce as a nation and ways we can go about reducing it. He exposes our food wastage habits, why supermarkets have such strict fruit and vegetable cosmetic standards – such as the discrimination against bendy (or straight) bananas – and some interesting recovery processes, including OzHarvest, Foodbank, and the emergence of repair cafés. Highlights follow.
Thanks to our Principal Waste Planner, Paula Kemplay, and RedWaste Service Manager, Robert Walford, for their input this month.
What is waste recovery?
Waste recovery (or resource recovery) is the diversion of disposed materials through various processes, including recycling, composting and energy recovery. In 2015-16, local governments across South East Queensland diverted 3.3 million tonnes of waste from disposal. While these figures are promising, we still have a long way to go to reduce waste.
Where are the waste recovery centres in the Redlands?
- Birkdale Waste Transfer Station, Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale
- Redland Bay Waste Transfer Station, German Church Road, Redland Bay
- Coochiemudlo Island, Elizabeth Street, Coochiemudlo Island
- Karragarra Island, The Esplanade, Karragarra Island
- Lamb Island, Sweet Gum Avenue, Lamb Island
- Macleay Island, Eastern Road, Macleay Island
- North Stradbroke Island, East Coast Road, Myora
What do we recycle?
|Recyclable material||What it’s made into|
|Scrap metal||Scrap metal is shredded to remove any impurities such as dirt or paint. The clean steel is then used for building products such as steel beams, plates and tubing.|
|Gas bottles (liquid propane)||Gas bottles in good condition are reconditioned and used again. If not, the metal is scrapped and recycled (see scrap metal above).|
|Green Waste and Untreated Timber||Green waste and untreated timber is sent to a green waste recycling facility where it is composted and mulched ready for reuse.|
|Household recyclables||Household recyclables including firm plastics, metal, glass, paper and cardboard are made into many different products either local or exported for reprocessing.|
|Lead acid car batteries||The battery acid is drained and the plastic and lead recovered. The plastic is recycled into new plastic products and the lead is melted into ingots and used to make building materials such as weatherproof roof flashing.|
|Electronic waste||Electronic waste collected from Redland City Council transfer stations goes to Brisbane where they are stripped and processed into the following commodity groups:
· Plastic is shredded and send out to various markets
· Metal is stripped and send to commodity markets
· Leaded glass is treated and used in smelters or as deep road base, non-leaded glass is melted down and re-used
Circuit boards are sent to South Korea or Japan.
|Cardboard and paper||The cardboard and paper is pulped and processed into new Tetra pak or cardboard packaging such as beer boxes and cardboard displays.|
|Expanded polystyrene (used in packaging)||This material is granulated and then recycled into a variety of products such as coat hangers and picture frames.|
|Bricks and concrete||This material is sorted then crushed to specific sizes and screened. The material is then used in the building and construction industry as aggregate or road base.|
|Reusable household items||Good quality reusable items can be salvaged for sale at RecycleWorld . Items may be resold for repair, reuse or upcycled to give it a new life.|
|Waste mineral and cooking oil||Waste mineral oil is re-refined into fuel oil and base oil reducing the need for virgin refined oil. Cooking oils can be filtered and recycled into products such as bio-fuel, cosmetics and stockfeed.|
More information about household recycling can be found on our website.
In conjunction with the launch of War On Waste, ABC local radio interviewed RedWaste Service Manager, Rob Walford, about Redland City Council’s RecycleWorld initiative and the delights of waste recovery. For the full interview, see ABC Afternoons with Kelly Higgins-Devine.
Established in 1998, and located at the Redland Bay Transfer Station, RecycleWorld is open every Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Follow the RecycleWorld Facebook page to see what is available for sale each week.
What can be dropped off?
- household goods
- spare parts
- toys, books, bric-a-brac
- some electrical goods are accepted depending on their condition
- refuse waste (including garbage, rubbish and hazardous and/or dangerous good and substances)
When is a good time to drop off unwanted goods?
Materials you believe can be reused and resold at RecycleWorld can be dropped off at any of our waste transfer stations. Please visit our website for a list of materials and where they are accepted. Locations and opening times of our transfer stations are available here.
Our gatehouse operators are trained to identify what can be accepted by RecycleWorld and will direct you to the dedicated drop-off points. Our on-site staff can assist if you’re unsure.
A handy tip: sort your load!
Save time by sorting your load before you head to your nearest waste transfer station. This helps the gatehouse staff to easily identify what you have and guide you in the right direction, making the drop-off process much simpler and quicker.
Did you know?
According to the Recycling and Waste Report, Queensland produced a staggering 9.2 million tonnes of headlines wastes in 2015-16. This includes a combination of municipal (residential), commercial and industrial and construction wastes.
In south-east Queensland alone, we produced:
- 1.23 million tonnes of municipal kerbside waste,
- 1.06 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste, and
- 1.67 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste.
How do we perform?
To achieve our 2024 waste reduction targets, Redland City Council has incremental improvement KPIs, which are reported annually.
Current results indicate we are not meeting all our resource recovery goals. Year to date resource recovery is 46.1% (against a target of 48.6%). Unfortunately, we are not hitting the target because less green waste is being received. A number of initiatives are being explored to improve resource recovery in the future. A recent example is the introduction of RedWaste’s 340L recycling bin to holiday rentals on North Stradbroke Island, which resulted in 121 larger recycling bins delivered in time for Easter. Keep an eye out for more in future On Tap updates.
Domestic waste landfilled per capita is 303kg (against a year to date target of 310kg). The lower the landfilled amount the better the performance, so this is meeting the target.
How can you help?
We are all responsible for the waste we produce and how we dispose of it. Every little bit helps, and we can all make a difference.
- Establish good recycling habits at home. The only material that should end up in the yellow recycling bin are:
- Plastic – firm plastic containers and bottles only. Soft plastics can be recycled at your local Coles or Woolworths
- Metal – steel and aluminium packaging, including empty aerosols, cans and aluminium foil
- Glass – glass bottles and jars
- Paper – junk mail, newspapers and glossy magazines
- Cardboard – cardboard boxes, pizza boxes and juice cartons
- Keep a separate recycling bin in the kitchen to capture all of your recyclables
- Never bag your recycling – all recyclables should be loose in the bin
- Request a larger recycling bin for home
- Request a green waste bin. The green waste bin is collected fortnightly and can take your grass clippings and garden waste
- Consider home composting food waste like vegetable peelings
- Plan your meals each week so you know exactly what to buy. There are some great tips for using leftovers on Love Food Hate Waste and Council’s recent food waste reduction pilot, Waste Not Want Not.