Welcome to On Tap, a collection of news about water supply, wastewater management and waste management in the Redlands. With Planet Ark’s National Recycling week fast approaching (7-13 November 2016), this issue profiles recycling activities in our city.
“When we consider the flow of resources through the economy and through our lives, it’s useful to think in terms of circles and cycles instead of lines with dead ends.”
– Second Nature, Recycling in Australia , Planet Ark 2012.
Recycle More, Waste Less with IndigiScapes Resource Recovery Station
IndigiScapes is encouraging everyone to ‘recycle more, waste less’ with their innovative Resource Recovery Station. Designed and built by RedWaste’s Education Officer, Craig Duncan, Natural Resources Education Officer, Penny Whitehouse, and local handyman, Barry Adams, the trolley is compartmentalised into eight waste categories, including designated bins for:
- Recyclables (glass/plastic bottles)
- Paper and cardboard
- Soft plastics
- Mobile phones and chargers
- CDs/DVDs and USBs
- Landfill (non-recyclable waste including food scraps, polystyrene, etc)
Inspiration for the Resource Recovery Station came from Sunshine Coast University, who have similar stations on campus. IndigiScapes built the pictured prototype using a trolley so the Station can be moved around the gardens or transported on the back of a ute. The trolley can be broken into two halves and has interchangeable signage on both ends.
Recycling efforts so far include:
- Batteries: Recycling began in mid-2015 and IndigiScapes have already recycled approximately 30kg of standard household batteries.
- Mobile phones: Approximately 38kg of mobile phones were recycled in 2014 and 45kg in 2015. The team are on track to recycle more this year!
- Soft plastics: Recycling began in January 2016 and IndigiScapes have collected 27kg to date through Recycle/Replas. Redland City Council is currently one of the top purchasing councils for the recycled product and has purchased 2493 recycled plastic bollards in the past two financial years. These were used to create 2485 fence bollards and eight sign bollards. This is equivalent to 34 tonnes of recycled plastic product!
- Biocups: This is a recent addition to the recycling family since IndigiScapes discontinued bioplastic cups in the café. They also plan to compost the paper-based cups.
- CDs, DVDs, USBs: This is currently being run on a trial basis through Terracycle. IndiScapes are building another smaller trolley for the Tallowwood room and features a three-bin system.
From nature to nature – the green waste cycle
One of the most visible cyclical recycling processes is the composting of green waste.
Green waste managed by Redland City Council comes from household gardens and open parkland areas and peaks in volume during the summer growing season and after tropical storms.
There are many ways for residents to participate in composting of green waste. The Good Gardening Expo held every April at IndigiScapes showcases popular options used by households ranging from home composting and worm farms to the optional green waste bin.
The green waste bin, introduced in October 2011, has grown in popularity and offers residents a convenient option to ensure their green waste is collected and composted. Council’s Waste Strategy has set ambitious targets for increasing take-up of this service as part of our commitment to achieve 55% resource recovery by 2024, a recycling target set by the Queensland Waste Strategy. In 2015-16, Council performance was 47.3%. Look out for adverts like the one below.
For those who live on the mainland and don’t undertake composting or have a garden bag service a home, consider getting a green waste bin for your grass clippings, dead flowers, leaves, small prunings, twigs and small branches. Composting not only reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, it also reduces landfill disposal fees paid by Council.
Green waste collected from the green waste bins or transfer stations is taken to a processor and turned into mulch or compost that meets Australian Standards.
If it grows in the ground, it can be composted and returned back to the ground in a variety of forms for gardens, land rehabilitation and agriculture.
Redlands green waste put to good use at Judy Holt Park
Next time you walk through Judy Holt Park, chances are you are walking past old trees and vegetation from across the Redlands. Approximately 2000 tonnes of mulched Redlands vegetation was used as part of the remediation project to the old landfill site at the Judy Holt Multi Sports Complex in Birkdale. This project saw mulch collected from across Redland city used as the final dressing ready for planting to create additional green space. As you can see, the plants are thriving!
On Tap is produced by Redland City Council to share news about water supply, wastewater management and waste management in the Redlands.