Do you recycle some garbages at home?
Australians have embraced recycling with more than nine out of ten people recycling at home. But as the industry continues to grow and expand the range of products and materials you can recycle continues to grow. In this two-part series we showcase 14 items you can recycle – but probably aren’t.
- Aluminium Foil – Most councils accept aluminium foil in your general recycling bin. You just need to scrunch it in to a ball – about the size of a golf ball or larger – so that it can be sorted correctly by the recycling machines.
- Aerosol Cans – Aerosol Cans are made from steel or aluminium and both are fully recyclable in almost all kerbside systems. Just make sure they’re empty.
- Batteries – Batteries can’t go in your kerbside recycling bin – in fact they can cause real problems if they go in there. But you can find local drop-off options for batteries around the country. Most of these programs are run by councils or retailers.
- Bathroom Packaging – Aerosol cans, toilet rolls and common items like shampoo and conditioner bottles, are made from recyclable materials but Australians often forget to recycle them. Basically this is because we don’t have recycling bins in the bathroom . Keep recyclable items separate and remember to drop them in the recycling.
- Construction and Renovation Material – It seems that Aussies are always renovating. And the good news is that if you use a reputable construction and demolition recycling company you can recycle well over 80% of a house. The materials are put though a sorting process and then turned back into useful products. Don’t be shy to ask the contractor what happens with your waste. Our friends at Bingo Bins send every skip bin they collect though a recycling process which means less waste to landfill.
- Coffee Pods – Coffee Pods have experienced a boom over the past few years. For them to be recycled they need to go through a special process to separate the coffee grounds form the aluminium and plastic. Check if the manufacturer of your pods has a recycling program and they either drop them off or send them back.
- Computers and TVs – Since 2012 Australians have been able access free services provided under the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme and funded by the manufacturers and importers. This has resulted is a huge increase in recycling. Industry group TechCollect has recycled over 80,000 tonnes of e-waste.
- Light Globes – Light globes come in a few different types which differ in composition as well as means of disposal. Fluorescent tubes, compact fluoros (CFLs), HIDs and metal halides all contain mercury and need to be recycled through council, commercial or community programs that safely separate the different elements. Incandescent globes and halogens can be recycled through some of these programs or can simply be wrapped in paper and disposed of in the garbage bin. They are made from low value and non-toxic materials which makes recycling them very difficult.
- Mailing Satchel – If your workplace uses lots of Australia Post mailing satchels you can sign up to the free Mailing Satchel Recycling Program run in conjunction with TerraCycle. Once you’ve signed up you just bag up your satchels, download a shipping label and post them off to be recycled.
- Paint – Under the new PaintBack scheme 15 cents is added to the price of each litre of paint which is used to establish collection points and recycling processes for un-used paint. PaintBack locations are beginning to appear around the country. Many councils, state-run clean out programs and the Community Recycling Centres in NSW also collect paint. Find a site near you.
- Ink and Toner Cartridges – Whether you use ink jet cartridges at home or toners at work recycling them is easy though ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’. There are collection boxes in over 4,000 retail outlets and your workplace can apply for your own box. And better still it’s completely free to the user as the participating manufacturers – Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera – cover the costs.
- Pizza Boxes – An increasing number of councils accept pizza boxes for recycling. They just need to be free of solid food and too much oil. If the base it too soiled, you can tear it off and dispose of it in the garbage bin and recycle the top.
- Soft Plastics – You can drop your used soft plastics including bread, cereal, pasta, lolly and dry cleaning bags off at participating (metro) Coles and some Woolworths stores where REDcycle will recycle them into new products like furniture for schools. The basic rule is that if you can scrunch it you can recycle it. (Residents in some councils like those around Perth, plus Ballina, Lismore, and Moreland can recycle soft plastics in the council bin.) Make sure you follow council advice re soft plastic as it can cause problems if it ends up in the wrong system.
- Toothpaste Tubes and Brushes – These are tricky and definitely can’t go in your home recycling bin but can be recycled though TerraCycle’s Oral Care Recycling Program. The program is ideal for workplaces or schools as it also operates as a fundraiser.