Recycling insight: where our waste goes

WHAT A STACK: Bass Coast Shire Council’s Adam Johns (L) and Wonthaggi Recyclers’ Matt Hill sort recyclables collected from Inverloch households last week.

WHEN Chinese recycling processors restricted their importation of recyclable waste from Australia, the communities of South Gippsland were momentarily uncertain about what that meant for them.

Would their recyclables instead be stockpiled or stored in landfill, as some other councils were forced to do?

Fortunately the councils of South Gippsland and Bass Coast escaped the recycling crisis, as their recyclables are sent to the processing company Visy in Dandenong, which was unaffected by China’s decision.

“Our recycling continues to be processed and has not been going to landfill,” Bass Coast Shire Council’s Jodi Kennedy said ahead of National Recycling Week from November 11 to 17.

In 2018-19, South Gippsland Shire Council collected 2391 tonnes of recycling from more than 11,000 properties. 

This averaged out to about 91 tonnes per fortnightly cycle, council’s Peter Roberts said.

So far this financial year, Bass Coast Shire Council has collected an average of 330 tonnes of recycling per month from kerbside collections.

This recycling, along with South Gippsland’s, is initially taken to Wonthaggi Recyclers’ depot in the town’s industrial estate before being transported to Visy.

Steel, aluminium and glass are turned into new items of the same type, such as bottles and jars for glass and new cans for aluminium and steel. 

“Paper is often turned into items such as paper towel or toilet paper. Plastics can be turned into anything from new bottles to polar fleece clothing or outdoor furniture, depending on the plastic type,” Mr Roberts said.

At Wonthaggi Recyclers, rubbish trucks dump recyclables on the floor of massive sheds, where it is scooped by machine and packed loose into trucks for transportation to Visy.

“We do the garbage contract as well and we used to see how much was taken to the Grantville landfill every day and that has been halved by the organics collection in Bass Coast Shire,” Wonthaggi Recyclers’ Matt Hill said.

Bass Coast has a contamination rate for recycling of just six per cent – below the industry standard of between seven and 10 per cent.

“At Bass Coast, this is managed with ongoing education and the great work from our community,” Ms Kennedy said.

Mr Roberts said South Gippsland residents do a wonderful job of sorting their rubbish.

“We would encourage them to keep sorting, reducing and recycling. There is always room for improvement though,” he said.

“People need to be mindful to only put the correct items in their yellow lidded bins and never to put them in plastic bags. If in doubt if a material can be recycled, people should contact council.

“Previous bin audits have shown that we are about average compared to other Victorian councils regarding contamination.” 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30305

Posted by on Nov 6 2019. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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