Burdekin residents urged to keep recycling waste

Burdekin Shire residents are being urged to keep up the good work in recycling waste.

Mayor Bill Lowis said as part of National Recycling Week this week, the Burdekin Shire Council was asking residents to continue their efforts in ensuring recyclable waste was not going to landfill.

“Residents are doing a great job, but there is always room for improvement to better recycle paper, packaging and food and garden scraps,” he said.

A new recycling report from Planet Ark shows that Australians are generally great recyclers with 90 per cent of people reusing or recycling materials at home. However, our laid back, “good enough” attitude may mean many useful materials are still languishing as lost opportunities in landfill rather than finding new lives in recycled products.

Planet Ark’s report, titled Second Nature: Recycling in Australia** was commissioned ahead of National Recycling Week, which runs from November 12-18.

National Recycling Week highlights the environmental benefits of re-use and recycling programs, while making participation enjoyable and easy through a number of community events and programs.

This year the Burdekin Shire Council is calling on householders and businesses to ensure only recyclable items are placed in their yellow bins.

“There are still a few residents who are putting things such as plastic bags, window glass, Pyrex and ceramics into their recycling bins and this contaminates the whole load and leaves the waste contractors with no other option but to take the whole truck load to landfill,” Cr Lowis said.

“All of our recycling materials are taken to Townsville for sorting before they are sent off for processing and any contaminated loads are disposed at landfill.

“Residents can recycle glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, newspapers and magazines, pizza boxes to name just a few.”

Residents can find out what can be recycled on the Burdekin Shire Council’s website, www.burdekin.qld.gov.au .    

Since Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week in 1996, recycling items like aluminium cans, printer cartridges, drink containers and milk cartons has become second nature to Australians and more than 90per cent of us recycle at home.

However, as the range of materials able to be recycled broadens, more education is necessary about what to do with items such as electronics and batteries.

“Making products from recycled materials preserves natural resources – it’s also an easy way to save energy,” says Planet Ark’s Manager of Recycling Programs, Janet Sparrow. “For example, making an aluminium can from recycled aluminium uses only five per cent of the energy used to make one from virgin materials.”

Much of what is sent to landfill from Australian homes is organic material, including food scraps, garden cuttings, timber and paper. The average Australian household generates almost a tonne of food waste each year.

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