Tips and tricks for better recycling – National Recycling Week 2016

Picture shown are for illustration purpose only.
Picture shown are for illustration purpose only.

Did you know the average Australian produces 647 kg of municipal waste each year?

This means that highlighting the many opportunities for improvements in waste reduction and recycling has never been more important.

As part of National Recycling Week, Port Stephens Council wants to help educate residents on the simple things they can do to make a difference.

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The theme this year ‘So you think you can recycle?’ aims to highlight the golden rules of recycling that tackle the most common recycling conventions.

Council’s Waste Coordinator, Emma Penfold, said the National Recycling Week created a great platform to further educate the community on recycling.

“In Port Stephens we have an excellent record of recycling with 7316 tonnes of waste recycled in 2015/16 alone, but like anything, there’s always room for improvement.”

“A key issue for us is contamination, which has been highlighted in this year’s campaign,” Ms Penfold said.

Contamination refers to incorrect items being placed in recycling bins causing problems during the sorting of recyclables, as well as affecting the ability of an item to be processed into a new product.

Eight out of ten councils surveyed by Planet Ark across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia identified reducing contamination as a high priority.

Ms Penfold added that there is a few simple things people can do to avoid contamination.
“It’s important to know that plastic bags can’t be recycled and that jars and bottles should have their lids removed and be rinsed before being placed in the bin.”

“As part of this year’s campaign, Planet Ark has created a list of golden rules which are a great guide for effective recycling,” she said.

Planet Ark’s Golden Rules of Recycling

Stay Loose: Recycling goes into the bin loose – never in a plastic bag, and keep other soft plastic out too.

Easy does it: Simple materials like paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, metal cans and aerosols, cartons and rigid plastics are easy to recycle and accepted in almost all kerbside collections.

Into the Garbage: Crockery, window and drink-ware glass, polystyrene, plastic bags, nappies and food are the big baddies in the recycling.

Keep It Clean-ish: Recycling does not need to be spotless – just scrape off solid food and give it a quick rinse.

Drop ‘Em Off: Kerbside systems cannot separate items like mobiles, computers, batteries and printer cartridges – find local drop off services.

If in doubt: Leave it out! Putting the wrong thing in the wrong bin can ruin your good recycling efforts.

National Recycling Week runs from Monday 7 November until Sunday 13 November. For any information on Council’s drop-off days or recycling activities visit

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