Are you recycling correctly? (Northern Beaches Sydney)

This blog post started with a question…‘do I recycle my almond milk carton with or without the lid?’ Turns out you can recycle both but they need to be separated (take the lid off, give it a quick rinse and put both in the yellow bin).

This got our house hold thinking, what else are we recycling wrongly? In Australia, how you recycle depends on your local council and the processing facilities they have access to. With that in mind, this post may not be relevant to you as it tells you how to recycle properly on the Northern Beaches. If you aren’t on the Northern Beaches, what you can do is take a look at your local council’s website where you will find all the information you need to make sure you’re distributing your waste correctly and making sure as much gets recycled as possible!

Another reason I’m sharing this is because the Northern Beaches has just put in place a new waste collection system which began on the 1st of July 2019. You have probably noticed the new bins? Well new bins means new service. 

But don’t worry, the council in giving our old bins a new life, recycling them to become new bins as well. 

“For the first time, the contents of your red garbage bin will be recovered and processed using advanced technology. Remaining recycling in the garbage will be removed, food and organics processed into compost material and the amount of waste going to landfill reduced.” (Northern Beaches Council Website)

According to the Northern Beaches website, the new service will avoid “the equivalent of over 43,200 tonnes of CO2 each year – that’s like taking 8,400 cars off the road.”

And the vegetation from the green bin will still return to the earth as commercial grade compost. 

All sounds super exciting and a step in the right direction. But what can you do to make sure your waste is correctly dispersed amongst the new bins? 

I’ve made up some simple drawings to make sure it is as easy as possible. You can also download, print and put them on your bins at home!

Recycling bins

Compost and soft plastics

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Too easy right? Wanting to take it a step further? Great! Try adding two more bins.

COMPOST - When you put left over food scraps into your red bin, unfortunately they go into land fill and cause methane gas to be released into our earth. But when you compost your food scraps they get turned into a quality mixture that will help your food grow with even more nutrients (especially organic). Basically a WAY better option. To learn how to make a compost/worm farm visit Eco House and Garden.

Or if you don’t have space, check out your local community gardens

SOFT PLASTICS - With plastic being everywhere it can be hard to avoid. So if you have to use them I feel that recycling them properly is our duty. Hard plastics can be placed in your yellow bin but for soft (when it can be scrunched up) can now be recycled at Coles and Woolworths through the Redcycle program. Just as you enter there will be a bin for you to drop off your soft plastics and have them turned into a whole range of things from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture. It’s a small thing you can do that makes a big difference.

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For more information visit Northern Beaches council and if you aren’t sure about how to recycle something, have a google and try and find out!

Natasha Burbury