While Eurobodalla is yet to be impacted by China’s strict new requirements on recycling contamination levels, local residents are being urged to make an extra effort in sorting their recycling.
Eurobodalla’s recycling is processed in Australia and is currently unaffected by China’s announcement it will no longer accept paper and plastics with more than 0.5 per cent contamination.
Recycling collected from the shire’s household yellow-lid bins is processed at a materials recovery facility in Shelley Road, Moruya, operated by Council’s contractor Suez. From there, clean mixed paper is recycled in Australia, while the plastic is pelletised and reused to make new products. Glass is crushed onsite into a sand product, which is used in Council’s operations as a replacement for sand.
While Eurobodalla is unaffected for now, Council’s Planning and Sustainability Director Lindsay Usher called on residents to make an extra effort to keep their recycling clean and only put items that can be recycled into their yellow-lid bin.
“Keeping our recycling clean and free of contamination going into the facility keeps the contamination percentages down in the outgoing material,” he said.
“Most Australian recycling facilities operate with contamination figures between five and 10 per cent. We’ve always been great recyclers in Eurobodalla, but a recent audit showed a contamination rate of 12.7 per cent in our yellow-lid bins.
“We’d like to see this improve. I’ll stop short of calling this a national recycling crisis, but it’s certainly a wake-up call for all of us to pay closer attention to what we put in our recycling bins.”
In response to China’s restrictions federal and state governments on Friday endorsed a waste reduction target by 2025 and agreed to boost Australia’s recycling capability. In the meantime, Mr Usher said the competition between recycling facilities to have their material accepted in Australia would increase.
“This means the cleaner each household can keep their recycling the better,” he said.
In 2016-17, the Moruya materials recovery facility processed 4,700 tonnes of material from yellow-lid recycling bins.
For guidance about what can and can’t be recycled, residents can check their Household Waste and Recycling Guide, visit Council’s website at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/wasteandrecycling or call Council’s recycling hotline on 4474 1024.
Above: Eurobodalla Good Sorts - Your guide to recycling
In your Yellow-lid recycling bin
YES PLEASE to plastic bottles and containers, milk and juice cartons, glass bottles and jars, magazines, newspaper, flattened cardboard and empty pizza boxes, steel and aluminium, foil (if scrunched in a ball bigger than a tennis ball) and empty aerosol cans.
NO THANKS to food, soft plastics such as plastic bags, cling wrap and soft plastic packaging, light bulbs and glass from windows, mirrors, drinking glasses and crockery, vegetation, nappies, paper towels, tissues serviettes and shredded paper, clothes, pillows and blankets, lids smaller than a 50c coin, waxed cardboard and polystyrene.