Soft plastics recycling now available in Tamworth region

Residents across the Tamworth region can help prevent soft plastics from going to waste through a new, innovative kerbside recycling program.

Tamworth Regional Council have been trialling soft plastic recycling through the kerbside bin since February this year and from Thursday 1 December 2022 the program will opened up to everyone in the region.

The Curby Program gives residents a home-based option to recycle clean, soft plastics that are captured within a bag via their yellow-lid kerbside bin, including shopping bags bread bags and bubble wrap. The CurbyApp (available from Apple App Store or Google Play Store) manages both registration and keeps participating households up to date with the items to place into the CurbyTagged bagged.

Up until recently, these items could only be recycled through community drop-off sites and with the announcement from REDcycle that the Return to Store Program will be paused, the introduction of this new service has proven to be very timely.

Tamworth region Mayor Russell Webb said the Curby Program will bolster the region’s recycling capabilities, which are all designed to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill.

“Tamworth Regional Council is focussed on becoming more sustainable through new and innovative systems and processes. For the very first time the region will now have access to soft plastics recycling on a region wide scale. Ninety-four per cent (94%) of soft plastics across Australia still end up in landfill, with the introduction of this new innovative service our region can do it’s part in reducing waste and contributing to a circular economy.”

“By weight, soft plastics make up a small component of the household waste that ends up at our Waste Management Facilities. However, given their lightweight nature, they can sometimes be picked up by the wind and escape into the environment, where they pose a serious threat to our native animals and marine life.”

The Curby Soft Plastics Program has successfully been introduced in Newcastle and the Central Coast and has collected more than 75 tonnes of soft plastics to date, which is equivalent to more than twelve million pieces of plastic.

CurbCycle Director Gordon Ewart said that the Tamworth Regional Council would be the first regional Council in Australia to utilise the Curby Platform.

“The Curby Program is seeking to remake today for a more sustainable tomorrow – and that is for councils right across Australia. We are seeking to bring solutions to community that better link with recyclers and leading brands diverting from landfill and forming new products re-made in Australia,” Mr Ewart said.

The program will be rolled out free of charge to householders across the Tamworth region, with registrations open from today for households in the region with a kerbside yellow-lid bin collection service to be delivered to iQ Renew’s Smart Material Recovery Facility.

“iQ Renew is a proud early adopter of the Curby program and we’re pleased to facilitate this innovation on behalf of the Tamworth Regional Council,” said iQ Renew CEO Danny Gallagher.

“Seeing thousands of Curby tagged bags arrive at the Material Recovery Facility is incredibly exciting and shows that our community wants to do more and do better when it comes to recycling.”

Registered participants can fill plastic bags with clean, soft plastic packaging before tying them shut, attaching a special CurbyTag (which will be sent top them once registered), which they scan with the CurbyApp before placing the bag in their yellow-lid bin for regular fortnightly collection.

Soft plastics must be inside a suitable plastic bag with a CurbyTag to be recycled via the kerbside collection and must not be placed loose in yellow-lid bins. This allows them to be separated from other materials and prevents the contamination of other recyclables.

Interested households can register at www.curbyit.com/softplastics or by downloading the Curby App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

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