To recycle, or not to recycle – that is the question!

Posted on: July 13, 2020

Did you know that not everything that has the recycle logo on it can actually go into your kerbside recycling bin?

These 13 items need to stay out of your yellow-top bin:

1. Soft plastics – do the ‘scrunch test’ – like plastic shopping bags, bread bags, food wrapping.

2. Small plastic lids
These are too small for the sorting machines, so put into your general waste bin.
FYI: Metal lids and caps (like beer caps) should go into your recycling bin, if you can, collect them up and put them inside a tin can before placing in the recycling bin.

3. Nappies
Only the cardboard box they come in can be recycled. No matter what the disposable nappies themselves are made of, they need to go into your general waste bin.
Be A GREAT Sort: Consider going ‘old school’ and use modern cloth nappies instead of disposables. (For the time poor, there are nappy laundry services that do the dirty work!).

4. Batteries
Whether it’s a small watch battery, general household batteries (like AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt) or one for a vehicle – no batteries can go into either your recycling or general waste bin. Most batteries (except lead acid ones, and those made from lithium and thionyl chloride) need to be taken to your nearest hazardous drop off point or dropped in a dedicated battery recycling bin (many shopping centres and council libraries have these). You can often take auto batteries back to the retailer/mechanic you purchased them from too.
FYI: Girl Guides recycle lead acid batteries from your car, boat, truck or motorbike. Take them to Girl Guide House, 168 Burswood Road in Burswood (open Monday to Friday 9:00-4:00).

5. Shredded paper
As this is too small for the machines at the recycling depots, place in your general waste bin.
Be A GREAT Sort: Add to your compost instead!

6. Takeaway coffee cups
Even the ‘green’ ones are made of composite material, so they need to go into your general waste bin.
Be A GREAT Sort: Opt for a reusable mug for your coffee hit. By using a reusable coffee cup every day instead of a disposable one, you can avoid creating 1kg of plastic waste a year!

7. Clothing and material
Even though these items can’t be recycled through your kerbside bin, they can be put to good use.
Share the love: Why not donate useable clothing to those in need?

8. Rope and hose pipes
As these can get tangled up in the recycling machinery, dispose of these in your general waste bin or during your council bulk verge collection/annual skip bin program.

9. Electrical goods, including cables
All e-waste should be taken to your nearest recycling centre or arrange an e-waste pick-up if your council offers one.

FYI: Old electrical cables, such as extension and computer cables, can also be taken to scrap metal recycling centres in your area.

10. Aerosols
Can you no longer place empty aerosol cans into your recycling, so take all aerosol cans (empty or full) to your nearest hazardous waste centre.

11. Light globes
Fluorescent tubes and energy-saving globes should be taken your nearest hazardous drop off or look out for a bin at your local shopping centre or library.

12. Printer cartridges
Many of these can be re-filled, so make sure you place them in a recycling bin, such as Planet Ark’s which can be found in a number of shopping centres, or drop inkjet and laser cartridges off at retailers like Australia Post stores, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman (call your local store to see if they participate).

13. Mobile phones
Keep these out of your general waste and recycling bins.
FYI: Head to the Mobile Muster website to see where you can offload your old phone or consider donating your old handpiece (but remember to delete any personal info first).


Top Tips:

  • Don’t bag up your recyclables in your bin – keep them loose
  • Plastic bottles, glass jars and the like – it’s best if these are clean and dry when you put them in your yellow-top bin (you don’t need to remove the stickers though!)

Keep reading

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