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Learn to recycle right during National Recycling Week

Published on 08 November 2021
  • Waste and recycling

It’s National Recycling Week from 8-14 November and Maroondah households can be proud of their ever-improving efforts when it comes to recycling.

Celebrating its 25th year, the week-long campaign is inviting people to value resources by giving them a second life through reusing and recycling items, with its theme ‘Recovery - A future beyond the bin’.

Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week was founded to put a national focus to the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ message and the environmental benefits of recycling.

To help celebrate the week, Council is running a free Recycle Right in Maroondah webinar on Tuesday 9 November, from 10.30am to 11.30am. Here you will learn all about what can go in your bins, what happens to all your waste after it’s been collected from the kerb, and why we can’t recycle everything at home.

The results of an environmental audit published in Maroondah City Council’s 2020/21 Annual Report reveals just over 27,498 tonnes of garden organics and recyclables were diverted from landfill last financial year.

Cr Marijke Graham, Chair of the Maroondah Environment Advisory Committee, said that while Maroondah had made a positive impact on waste reduction through recycling, more could be done and learnt about recycling.

“Maroondah residents have proven that they are great recyclers. In fact, Maroondah has one of the highest landfill diversion rates amongst Victoria’s 79 Councils,” Cr Graham said.

“While most householders are diligent when it comes to recycling and are correctly sorting their recycling waste, there are still many who may be confused as to what they can and can’t put into their recycling bin and garden organics bin,” she said.

“Recyclable packaging collected in Maroondah is sent to a sorting facility where various materials are separated and recycled into a range of different products. However, when the wrong items are put in the recycling bin, these items contaminate the recycling stream and can break machinery. Items such as plastic bags (both full and empty), nappies, polystyrene (Styrofoam) and food left in containers, can all interrupt the recycling process.”

Items being placed in the garden organics bin which shouldn’t are oversized branches, soil, rocks, treated wood, animal faeces, textiles and recyclable packaging.

Packaging, food and e-waste

A special focus of this year’s National Recycling Week is being paid to packaging, food and electronics (E-waste), three of the most problematic waste streams in Australia with the greatest potential for resource recovery.

“E-waste is growing three times faster than any other waste stream. E-waste contains potentially hazardous and valuable materials, which don’t belong in landfill,” Cr Graham said.

“There are many options in and around Maroondah for recycling your e-waste. One option is dropping your e-waste at your nearest transfer station during opening hours for safe and responsible disposal. Many tips and recycling centres are open seven days a week,” she said.

When it comes to reducing packaging’s impact on the planet, the best option is to avoid it by buying less, she said.

“Unfortunately, most packaging is designed as single-use, and is typically thrown away rather than reused or recycled.

“The trend towards buying online has also risen exponentially, especially since COVID-19 hit, bringing with it an increase in packaging material such as cardboard, tape, bubble wrap and polystyrene. However, there are many organisations and companies proactively embracing more sustainable methods when it comes to their products and how they package them. Also, when out shopping, look for items made of recycled and upcycled materials and which carry the Australasian Recycling Label,” Cr Graham said.

“Also, plate scraps, leftovers and food that’s passed its use-by date make up a lot of rubbish produced by Maroondah households each week.

“Home composting is a great and easy way to minimise food waste ending up in landfill, which in turn reduces the burden on landfill while replenishing your garden or lawn,” Cr Graham added.

“The pandemic has challenged the way we live, work and interact with the world around us and has offered us the chance to build a better future. We know that it is critical that recycling and resource recovery are part of this. We want to encourage our community to continue playing their part in creating a future beyond the bin,” Cr Graham said.

Recycle Right in Maroondah

Register to attend our free Recycle Right in Maroondah webinar, or phone 1300 88 22 33.

More information

For tips on recycling right, see our A-Z guide to waste disposal. To keep informed of upcoming waste education workshops and events, sign up to our email notification list.

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