National Recycling Week (8th-14th November) is an annual event that encourages Australian Councils, workplaces, schools and individuals to consider what materials we place in our yellow lid recycling bins and how we can improve our recycling knowledge and build better recycling habits.
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrate National Recycling Week YOUR way!’ and Forbes Shire Council along with many others, is taking the opportunity to help improve the community’s recycling knowledge by lifting the lid on the issue of contamination.
Forbes Shire Council General Manager, Steve Loane said that while it is great to see the majority of our community regularly uses their recycling bin, and in doing so, reduces the amount of waste sent to land-fill each year, the level of contamination is rising.
“Recycling contamination is when the wrong thing is placed in the yellow lid bin and it’s a widespread issue. It can result in machinery blockages at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), which is where our recyclables are sorted,” said Mr Loane.
“This creates hazards to the workers that help sort our recyclables, increase the amount of waste sent to landfill, lower the value of recycled items and increase the overall cost of recycling,” he said.
“Soft plastics such as plastic bags, food wrappers and packets, cannot be recycled through the yellow lid recycling bin and are the number one form of contamination. On average, 31% of all recycling bins inspected in the Central West contained soft plastics.”
Council encourages residents to look for the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) for guidance on what can be recycled as the label tells you how to dispose of each part of a product’s packaging.
For more information on the Australasian Recycling Label and National Recycling Week visit Planet Ark’s website: https://planetark.org/programs
For more information on your waste and recycling services, visit Council’s website: www.forbes.nsw.gov.au/residents/waste-and-recycling/recycling.