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National Recycling Week Where does my recycling go?

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Where does my recycling go?

It’s National Recycling Week (12-18 November) and what better way to celebrate than to thank the vast majority of Ballina Council residents who are great recyclers!

This year has seen some major changes to Australia’s recycling industry due to China placing much tighter restrictions on unsorted recycling or incorrect items being placed in recycling bins (which is called contamination).

So where does our recycling actually go? Ballina’s kerbside recycling continues to go to Lismore’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where it’s bailed and sent to various local and international markets for recycling.

The markets vary, but generally:
• Glass is crushed into a sand-like product in Lismore to be used in local road base and pipe bedding projects
• Paper and cardboard is sent offshore to China to be made into recycled products
• Steel and Aluminium is generally sent offshore to China
• Plastics are sorted; some head offshore to China while others are sent to a recycling facility in Narrabri.

Ballina Council News and Events, Heartland Magazine Ballina news and events, National Recycling Week
Image: Samala Heart, Council’s Waste Education Officer about to tip loose recyclable items into a kerbside recycling bin.

Northern Rivers councils have been working collaboratively on a new recycling campaign to support residents with their efforts by simplifying messages and clarifying what can and can’t be recycled.
“One of the biggest contaminants in our recycling bins is items tied up in plastic bags,” said Ms Samala Heart, Ballina Shire Council’s Waste Education Officer.
“Standard, degradable and biodegradable bags must all go in the red-lidded landfill bin, with 100% compostable bags acceptable in the green-lidded organics bin. Please keep recyclable items loose in your yellow-lidded kerbside bin so they can be sorted successfully by the wonderful staff at Lismore’s MRF.”

Stay tuned for the region-wide Recycle Right campaign, officially launching on 3rd December. The campaign will be visible on television, social, web and print media and include home- use resources for residents.

For more information on what you can and cannot recycled visit ballina.nsw.gov.au (search recycling bin).

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