Redland City Council wants to put a lid on recycling contamination

CHECK IT: Five types of materials can be recycled kerbside - paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, aluminium and steel cans and firm plastic containers and bottles.
CHECK IT: Five types of materials can be recycled kerbside - paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, aluminium and steel cans and firm plastic containers and bottles.

A WORRYING rise in recycling contamination is costing council big bucks.

Residents are urged to put the right materials, in the right bins.

Redland Coast Mayor Karen Williams said the average rate for recycling contamination in the Redlands had been increasing since 2018, from eight per cent to 11 per cent last year, and tracking at a disturbing average of 12.4 per cent in 2021.

"Household recycling is a commercial activity that council pays for and when the quality decreases the processing costs increase.

"We do not want to reach the point where excess contamination costs may need to be passed on to ratepayers," she said.

Just five types of materials can be recycled kerbside - paper, cardboard, glass jars and bottles, aluminium and steel cans and firm plastic containers and bottles.

"We are seeing a lot of other items in yellow-top bins, items that contaminate the load and waste our good efforts.

"Keep it loose and clean. Don't bag your recycling," Cr Williams said.

Cr Williams said while she applauded residents for their enthusiastic recycling, meeting recycling targets meant more than shifting items from a general waste wheelie bin to the household recycling or green waste bin.

"When a yellow-top wheelie bin has too much non-recyclable material, it decreases the quality of recyclable materials and makes it harder for the good quality products to be extracted in the sorting equipment.

"As well as being a waste of renewable resources, waste management costs as the contaminated recycling may have to be taken to landfill," she said.

Australia and New Zealand have rolled out a new labelling information system for food packaging, called the Australasian Recycling Label.

Planet Ark has run a "Check it! Before You Chuck It national campaign to raise awareness about the new labels, which provides easy-to-understand recycling information when you need it most.

Check out council's A-Z of waste recycling at www.redland.qld.gov.au/waste.

Contaminating mistakes to avoid:

  • Bagged items -residents should not place recycling into a kitchen tidy bag or garbage bag or place general waste in the recycling bin
  • Soft plastics items such as bread bags, cereal box liners, pasta packets, chip packets, frozen veggie packets etc can only be recycled if taken to a specialised recycling collection point, such as the ones available in major supermarkets.Soft plastics cannot be processed through council's recycling facility and therefore cannot be placed in kerbside recycling.
  • Bubble wrap
  • Food scraps - including excess food in containers. Containers do not need to be fully rinsed before being placed in your recycling bin.
  • Clothing / materials
  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic toys