Campaspe Shire Council is encouraging the community to keep up its good recycling habits despite recent media suggesting material is not being recycled.
Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said it is disappointing that despite the ongoing efforts of council, industry and residents to collect, process and recover materials amid the very real challenges facing the industry, mainstream media has released a story not entirely based on facts.
“Negative stories, such as that aired on 60 Minutes this week, only serve to undermine the community’s confidence in recycling,” Cr Weston said.
“We are concerned the program didn’t paint the full picture of Australia’s recycling efforts and didn’t highlight the fact that the large majority of Australia’s recycling material is actually recycled in Australia.”
The National Waste Report 2018, undertaken by the Commonwealth Government, reported that plastic exports from Australia decreased last year by 25%. From the 67 million tonnes of waste generated by Australians, 37 million tonnes was recycled. It also reported that:
- 33 tonnes was recycled in Australia (89%), and
- 4 million tonnes was exported (11%), with more than half of the material being metal.
Last financial year Campaspe residents generated 13,500 tonnes of waste from kerbside collections, of which 5,200 tonnes (41%) was recycled and recovered.
“This is slightly higher than the national average,” Cr Weston said. “Again highlighting the commitment of our residents to recycle and reduce the amount of material going to landfill.”
Most recycling material collected across Campaspe Shire is recycled locally.
“We are fortunate to have a Materials Recovery Facility located in Echuca. Material collected from kerbside recycling collections go the facility for sorting,” the Mayor said.
“The facility is owned and operated by Veolia and provides direct employment for more than 15 staff.”
Some examples of where the recycling material goes:
- HDPE plastic (such as milk containers) is taken to Greenpipe in Moama and RPM Pipes in Lancaster for recycling into irrigation pipes;
- Glass bottles (whole) go to RECivil Pty Ltd in Echuca to be used in asphalt;
- Soft plastic (such as plastic bags and packaging) is collected through the Echuca and Kyabram transfer stations and sent to Newtecpoly in Moama and recycled into bollards, garden edging and bump stops;
- Paper and cardboard, which is about half the material in a household recycling bin, is sent to Melbourne and recycled into new cardboard boxes and paper packaging;
- Tin and steel go to a re-processor in Melbourne for recycling.
“In discussions about the challenges facing the recycling industry, we often fail to address the importance of avoiding the creation of waste. Recycling is extremely important, and important to do so correctly, however the best thing to do is to avoid the waste in the first place,” Cr Weston said.
“Behaviours such as taking a reusable shopping bag, not buying bottled water, and buying food loose rather than packaged, are far more preferable than using an item once.”
“Everyone has a role to play in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. From buying less products made out of raw materials and effectively managing our waste as much as possible, so it can be reused or recycled.”
Residents are also being given a helping hand to recycle right with the launch of the Australasian Recycling Label. It aims to help residents understand which bin packaging should be placed in, and is appearing on more and more products every day.