What happens to your plastic and other recyclables after you drop it in a recycling bin?
Many residents may be aware that since China imposed strict conditions on the importation of recyclable materials, thousands of tons of plastic are now being shipped to poorly regulated developing countries around the world to 'process' this recycling.
Council's recycling contract is with Visy, which owns and operates resource recovery facilities in Australia. Council has consciously selected Visy because of these facilities, as some other companies predominantly 'trade' the collected materials. This means that all recyclable material in your blue and yellow garbage bins are processed and recovered on site at one of Visy's processing plants in Australia.
There are also important steps every household can take to ensure that the public health and environmental impacts of plastics are minimised.
- Educate yourself. Know what items should go in each recycling bin.
- Don't wishcycle. "wishcycling" or "wishful recycling" refers to a consumer's tendency to put something in their recycling bins because they believe it should be recycled even if it is not on the list of approved materials. This causes slowdowns during processing, exacerbating the problem.
- Reduce! Do everything you can to reduce your waste. Think reusable- whether it's water bottles, forks and knives, food storage containers, towels, etc., do everything you can to avoid using disposable options.
- Keep it clean. Ensure that your recyclables are clean by washing out wasted food and sorting them appropriately. Keeping your recycling clean helps the processing of plastics by ensuring the sorting process is not slowed down to deal with contamination issues.