"I just don't know what goes in the bin and what doesn't!"
"I've heard you can't put that in anymore"
"What do you mean I have to wash it all?"
"Why bother if it's all going to go to the same place anyway?"
It's a pretty confusing concept our recycling isn't it? Between our council collected bins, item specific recycling and bulk refuse it can be a minefield that often leads to either 'wish-cycling', (where you put something into your recycle bin in the hopes it will be recycled) or throw it into landfill because it is too hard.
In 2018 it was widely reported that China, which had been accepting bales of our, primarily plastic, recyclable waste, would introduce tighter allowances on what would be accepted of which almost none of our recycling made the cut! Australian recycling companies then made deals with two neighbouring Asian nations to take the waste instead. Since then, not only have those countries also limited the waste they would take but also it has come to light that in some cases the material was not even recycled at all.
Recycling is not the answer to our plastic and waste problem, however we do believe that recycling in Australia is an industry that we should support and plays a big part in our low waste journeys. We advocate following the refuse, reuse, swap/borrow THEN recycle mantra and it is the primary reason behind our bulk food store coming into being! Sometimes a zero waste alternative is not available or going without is not an option and so waste is created. We also have to account for the tonnes of plastic and other valuable resource waste that is already in production or use, which is where recycling comes into play.
We know ourselves that we are still learning the in's and out's of recycling in WA and things change, often! Below is a guide on how to recycle specifically in Western Australia (and also the City of Swan where we are based). Grab a printable version here.
If we've missed anything or you have any questions, please get in touch!
** PLEASE NOTE AS OF JULY 2019 THE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT RECYCLING PROGRAM THROUGH TERRACYCLE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AND WE CANNOT ACCEPT ITEMS **
|*Aluminium Cans & containers
*Plastic containers (yoghurt, cleaning, ice-cream, butter etc)
*Plastic bottles (Milk & drinks)
*Waxed cardboard containers (Milk, juice)
*Aluminium foil (collect in a tennis sized ball)
*Glass bottles & Jars
*Plastic inserts (biscuits, crackers)
*Paper, cardboard, newspapers, giftwrap
No Tetrapaks! Check the inside of your cartons - if they are silver lined then they are not recycled.
Wash/rinse out any food scraps or residue (they don't have to be sparkling)
Let dry before putting inside the bin
Remove all lids. Big lids (use the palm of your hand as a guide) can go into the bin as is. Small metal lids need to be collected together (steel lids in a steel can, aluminium lids scrunched in your aluminium foil - these can then be put into your recycling bin) Small plastic lids, please collect to bring into our store.
*Plastic bags (shopping, bread etc)
*Chip/crisp packets (outer package only)
*Pasta & rice bags (plastic as well as woven)
*Box liners (cereal, flour etc)
*Old shopping bags (including the reusable ones)
*Frozen vegetable bags
*scrunchable wrapping from 'multi -buy' products (2 packs etc)
*Baby & pet food pouches (remove mouthpiece, cut open and clean thoroughly)
Collect & drop off at your nearest Coles/Woolworths supermarket
Shake/rinse out any food scraps or residue (they don't have to be completely residue free)
Let dry before putting inside the bin
Cut up large pieces into A4 size. This helps them go through the machinery smoothly
BULK RECYCLING FACILITY
*E-waste (mobile phones, computers, TV's etc)
*Whitegoods (washing machines, dishwashers etc)
*Timber and building rubble
*Oil (20ltrs Max)
*Polystyrene & plastic strapping
*Tyres (4 max. Cost involved)
*Old furniture, outdoor toys and bikes
If items are in good/working condition, why not try your local buy nothing group first?
CITY OF SWAN RESIDENTS: 121 Stock west road, Bullsbrook
This drop off service is free for city of swan residents. Alternatively you can call the City and request a bulk verge pickup.
Please contact your local council (if not CoS) for their information.
SPECIALIST RECYCLING IN-STORE
*Coffee Pods (metal only please)
TERRACYCLE & NESSPRESSO
*Dental products (toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss containers)
*Pens and Markers
*Plastic bottle tops & bread tags
GREENBATCH, LOCAL SCHOOLS & BREADTAGS FOR WHEELCHAIRS
*Lightbulbs, Batteries, Printer cartridges
CITY OF SWAN RECYCLING
Find our recycle station just inside the door!
Coffee pods do not need to be emptied or cleaned
Toothpaste tubes do not need to be cleaned however please make sure all product is removed
Personal care recycling is no longer available so any big plastic bottles (shampoo etc) can go into your yellow council bin.
No crayons please
Food scraps (no meat or dairy)
*Tissues and paper napkins
*Dust, floor sweepings, vacuum collection
*Organic fibers & clothing (linen, bamboo, wool, felt, cellulose, cotton)
If you have a worm farm, don't forget to tear/cut the waste down into manageable bits
Don't have space for a compost bin or worm farm? Why not try ShareWaste? An app that links people with scraps to those who have chickens or large composts available
There is also Kooda. For a small fee they provide and pickup on demand a compact bucket you can fill www.kooda.com.au
Alternatively you can also bury your organic waste. Just make sure it is chopped into smallish pieces and you don't bury too much in each hole and it is well covered
Animal waste must be composted seperately. Check out specific animal waste systems such as EnzoPet (available online) or Maze (available at Bunnings)