Recycling Gone Wrong


City of Rockingham residents are being reminded to ensure they are recycling correctly after faults were found during an extensive bin inspection.

Mayor Barry Sammels said an inspection of 300 yellow-lidded recycling bins in Harrington Waters and Warnbro in late 2016 revealed some interesting issues.


"While most people generally recycled quite well, there was room for improvement," Mayor Sammels said. "The two locations gave a good snapshot into the rest of the City’s recycling habits."

The most common issues found in the recycling bins were:

  1. Bagging recyclables. Issue: this looks like a bag of rubbish and will go straight to landfill. Due to occupational health and safety, recycle plant workers do not open bags. Also, items need to be loose so that they can be separated and bailed.

  2. Soft plastics (like plastic bags and chips packets). Issue: these cannot be recycled through the recycling bin because they contaminate the paper stream and can get caught in machinery. Take soft plastics to local Coles stores for recycling.

  3. Not rinsing containers. Issue: While the containers are not required to be super clean, they are required to be rinsed to be rid of the main residual of food or liquid. Dirty recyclables are landfilled.

Other issues found were of a more serious nature like lawn clippings, nappies, children’s toys and textiles (i.e. pillows or towels). Toys can be donated to charity if they are still in good condition. Lawn clippings and nappies should be placed into the red or dark green lidded waste bin. These items can damage machinery or ruin a whole truck of recyclables.

Mayor Sammels said around 15-20% of what people placed into the recycling bin was sent to landfill which added to the cost of processing recyclables.

"It is important for all residents to be aware of how to use their bins correctly, particularly when the new three bin system is introduced in 2017. The new system will increase recycling capacity, but it is the role of the resident to ensure the recyclables are not contaminated with food waste or other unrecyclable items," he said.

Residents can read the City's Bin Collection flyer for tips and guidelines on how to recycle effectively.

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