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Top three tips you need to know about recycling in Yarra Ranges

Published on 15 April 2019

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Yarra Ranges Council is joining other Councils from around Victoria to call for more investment in recycling from the State and Federal Governments.

The Municipal Association of Victoria, which represents all Victorian Councils, recently launched its Rescue our Recycling campaign, calling for all levels of government to intervene in the ongoing recycling crisis.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Tony Stevenson, said while recyclable material was collected in the Yarra Ranges by VISY and processed, the recycling industry was in dire need of help.

“Even though we’ve been able to weather some of the recent impacts to the recycling industry – such as one of the state’s major recycling companies briefly suspending operations – there’s no doubt that serious change needs to happen to keep the future of our recycling industry sustainable,” Cr Stevenson said.

“Our recycling provider, VISY, sends a majority of the recyclables collected to Australian markets, so materials can be re-used here, and others to Indonesia to be purchased and used by manufacturers there.

“They’ve also brought ethical processes in place to ensure that any recyclables sent overseas are managed appropriately.

“The simple fact is that the current Australian market can’t sustain the amount of recyclables we’re producing which is why recyclables end up overseas.

Some of the materials produced from recycled products are not classified as food grade, therefore new materials are required for some packaging.

“What’s clear is we need changes from every level of Government and the community to solve this and other problems the industry is facing.”

Cr Stevenson encouraged residents to continue recycling as much as possible, and to look at ways to reduce the amount of rubbish they generate at home.

“It’s clear that one of the easiest ways to reduce the strain on the industry is, wherever possible, look at reducing, reusing and recycling – in that order,” he said.

“That can be reducing the amount of waste we generate by buying less items with lots of packaging – especially soft plastics – looking at reusable items like coffee cups, and recycling as much as we can.”



4 result(s) found

  • Top 3 recycling tips

    Top 3 recycling tips

    Soft plastics can't go in your recycling bin

    If you have plastic and you can scrunch it up, it can't be put in the recycling bin. 

    Make sure you take it to a participating supermarket for soft plastics recycling. 

    Find a supermarket with soft plastics recycling near you

    Keep recyclable items out of plastic bags

    When you throw your recycling in the bin, it can't be in a plastic bag. It it is, the machines at the recycling facility can't automatically sort your rubbish. 

    Separate different recyclable materials

    Make sure you keep different materials separate. For example, if a glass jar has a metal lid, take it off so it can be automatically sorted at the recycling facility.

  • What can I recycle?

    What can I recycle?

    Items that you can put in your recycling bin include: 

    - cardboard boxes

    - steel cans including aerosol cans, aluminium cans, clean aluminium foil and pie trays

    - glass bottles and jars (including lids)

    - milk and juice cartons

    - books, envelopes, brochures, newspapers and magazines

    - plastic bottles, containers, trays, plant pots with codes 1-7

    - pots and pans

    - plastic toys.

  • What can't I recycle?

    What can't I recycle?

    Items that you can't put in your recycling bin include: 

    - food waste, meat, fish, poultry, scraps or bones

    - plastic bags

    - garbage

    - plastic wrap, polystyrene and foam meat trays

    - glassware, crockery, pyrex, light bulbs, window glass or mirrors

    - waxed cardboard

    - green waste

    - nappies

    - syringes

    - gas cylinders

    - videos or DVD's

  • What do I do with my soft plastics?

    What do I do with my soft plastics?

    While you can't put soft plastics into your recycling bin, you can take soft (scrunch-able) plastic bags and plastic packaging to participating supermarkets.

    Find a supermarket with a soft plastics recycling service near you

    Due to the sorting process and the need to reduce contamination in our recyclables, it is not currently possible for soft plastics to be included in the recycling bin collection.

    They can cause issues in the sorting process and will be sent to landfill once removed.

    Kerbside recycling bins are audited regularly across the municipality as part of our ongoing education campaign.

    If items such as soft plastics and other non-recyclable items are identified, a reminder notice, about what items are acceptable to put out for collection will be left in the letterbox for education purposes. But soft plastics should never be put in the recycling bin.

    We will continue to work with our recycling contractor, Visy, and the recycling industry to improve technologies used in sorting facilities, so we can accommodate this in the future.

    We encourage all residents to collect their soft plastics and drop them at their local supermarket if they have a collection bin. This allows organisations to recycle the soft plastics and keep them away from landfill.  

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Cr Stevenson said the Rescue our Recycling campaign is calling for manufacturers to generate less waste and place more emphasis on recyclability, and for Governments to support better ways of sorting and processing, so more material can be recycled.

“We need a container deposit scheme to encourage recycling and reduce litter in Victoria, national targets, timeframes and investment from the Federal Government to encourage manufacturers to create products with minimal or no waste, and conversations at a Council and community level on how we can encourage recycling in the community.

“The goal here would be to create a system where we’re all recycling effectively, processing all of our material onshore, support industry to manufacture recycled products cheaper or same cost as new material so and manufacturers use that material to create their products, rather than buying new material.”

Council uses recycled material for different projects, such as recycled plastics for some bollards and boardwalks, which are made from soft plastics dropped off at supermarkets.

Council’s standard practice for road construction is to use at least 20 per cent recycled asphalt, with a 30 per cent minimum in road patching.

Cr Stevenson said the State Government’s landfill levy, which Council paid for each tonne of material sent to landfill, had generated more than half a billion dollars across the state.

“We appreciate the effort the State Government has gone to, in supporting Councils following last year’s announcement that China would no longer accept recyclable material,” he said.

“However, there’s more than half a billion dollars generated by the landfill levy – a fee which has increased by 637 per cent in the last ten years being held by the government, and that funding should be used to find sustainable solutions to the way recyclable materials are collected and processed in Australia.”