Recycling Keeping It Simple

Narromine Shire Council suggests keeping recycling simple

Despite news last year about strict new recycling import policies in China, the message on recycling locally remains the same: keep it up and keep it simple.

The announcement last year came largely as a result of contaminated recycling which stems from the wrong items being placed in kerbside bins.

Recycling collected domestically is processed both in Australia and overseas. China is the world’s largest importer and recycler of plastics, paper and scrap metals, accepting more than 30 million tonnes of waste from all over the world every year. In 2016-17 Australia sent 1.25 million tonnes of material to China for recycling.

In January 2018, with the introduction of the National Sword program, China began to enforce new restrictions on the importation of materials for recycling. This policy impacted the global market for recyclable material, including recyclables collected in regional NSW.

Whilst the industry faced immediate pressures to adjust to higher quality standards and find some alternative markets for recyclable materials, kerbside recycling continued to be collected, processed and recycled.

Jane Redden, General Manager of Narromine Shire Council said, “Any person on the street would have noticed no difference. Yes, China Sword caused a few issues, but we have worked through these and recycling continues to be collected and processed in the same way. Residents should remain confident that using their kerbside bins correctly will reduce landfill, recycle resources and make a positive contribution to the environment.”

The past year has highlighted the need for residents to pay more attention when sorting their waste, so that recyclables collected are of high quality.

Waste audits conducted in 2018 in the Narromine Shire on the yellow-lid recycling bins showed contamination levels of 17%from items such as bagged rubbish, soft plastics, fabric, non-recyclable glass and soiled pizza boxes.

Conversely, audits of the ‘landfill’ bin showed a whopping 20% recyclables, including items such as paper, cardboard and plastic containers.

“We definitely have room for improvement. We don’t want to see our community penalised by high contamination levels. The message we want to send to residents is to keep recycling, stick to the basics and keep it clean,” said Ms Redden.

“Recycling household waste correctly is an easy yet powerful way for the individual to make a positive difference to our environment,” she continued.

Residents are reminded to check what goes in each kerbside bin and to contact council if they are unsure of certain items.

For more information on local recycling, visit Council’s website