MRF fire means recycling right is crucial

A fire at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Parkhurst a little over two weeks ago has meant that it is more important than ever to get recycling right at your yellow lidded bin.

Waste and Recycling Councillor Shane Latcham said that Council acted quickly to ensure that residents’ recycling doesn’t go to waste.

“Normally, when your kerbside recycling bin is collected it is sent to the MRF to be sorted by our contractor,” said Cr Latcham.

“This is a privately operated regional facility contracted to sort kerbside recyclables from our Region as well as other Central Queensland councils.

“Recyclables are separated and baled at the MRF, then transported to secondary processors to be made into new products.

“The loss of this facility has obviously had an enormous impact on normal operations, and Rockhampton Region Waste and Recycling has had to respond very quickly.

“The fact that there has been no disruption to normal service is an absolute credit to Council’s contractor and our officers who have been working tirelessly to ensure that this hasn’t impacted recycling in our community or come at an expense to Council.

“For the time being, kerbside recycling loads are being collected and trucked to the MRF in Mackay for sorting while we work through a long term solution.

“This situation, however, means that it’s more essential than ever to make sure the right thing is going in the right bin.

“We don’t want to be giving any rubbish a ride to Mackay just to go to waste there, so we’re asking for the community to really focus on their recycling at the moment.

“Beyond this, putting the wrong thing in your bin can actually put workers in danger. While we’re still investigating the cause of the fire, it’s suspected that the culprit might be a lithium battery which somebody put in their yellow lidded bin.

“While our trucks and the MRF have safety mechanisms in place there is always a risk that these dangerous items – like batteries and household chemicals – can slip through. There really is no excuse for putting items like these in your kerbside recycling.

“Luckily, no one was injured during this incident.

“Remember, your yellow lid bin is only for household food and beverage containers, plus paper and cardboard – look for the recycling symbol. If it doesn’t fit one of these categories it doesn’t go in your yellow bin.

“Let’s aim for zero contamination at the kerbside.”

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