The top 5 items contaminating our recycling

03 May 2018

Plastic bottles for recycling

You might have seen in the news recently that China is limiting the import of contaminated recycling. Yes, some of Victoria’s recycling material is exported – around 14% - but only about 7% goes to China.

So these new developments don’t mean an end to recycling. Instead, they provide a great opportunity to grow our local industry and create more jobs. This is what we’re currently doing. In fact, the Victorian Government is currently investing in our waste industry at record levels.

But while the industry grows to meet these new demands, we need your help. We all need to make our recycling cleaner. So let’s check our recycling habits to ensure we reduce contamination from items that are not able to be recycled.

Here are the top 5 waste items that contaminate bins. Leave these out to reduce contamination.

  1. Soft plastics including shopping bags, cling wrap and soft plastic packaging and wrappers. Gather these separately and find out where to recycle these in your community, such as at your local supermarket.
  2. Clothing cannot be processed at recycling centres, so donate wearable clothing to a local charity instead, or reuse as rags around the home.
  3. Keep items out of plastic bags. This one is easy: just bin it – don’t bag it! All recycling items should be loose in the bin. If they are in a plastic bag, the whole lot has to be ditched.
  4. Leave green waste out of the recycling bin. If you have a green bin, put all your grass clippings, prunings and garden waste in there.
  5. Electronic-waste – this includes any electrical items, phones, cables, batteries and computers. E-waste recycling might be in place in your area. Check with your local council about what’s available near you.

Check your local council website for more detail about what can and can't be recycled in your area, but if in doubt, leave it out.