Update your recycling habits and “Recycle Right”

Published on 11 July 2019

Photo of recyclable items

Residents of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council are being encouraged to Recycle Right and update their recycling habits.

Contamination rates at the ACT’s Materials Recycling Facility at Hume, which is where QPRC’s recycling is taken, have been slowly increasing. In February 2019, the MRF recorded an 18 per cent contamination rate which is up from a long-term average of 11 per cent. QPRC’s recycling contamination rate during 2018 was 14.3 per cent averaged across the council area. Some areas were as high as 26 per cent.

The new regional recycling campaign Recycle Right launched today by the Canberra Region Joint Organisation and its member councils is designed to clear up any confusion and lead to better recycling practices.

The campaign involves new social media videos and other campaign material that aim to better inform residents about common issues that can compromise the quality of the material disposed of in the recycling bin. You can find information about the Recycle Right campaign on Council’s website.

Contaminated recycling may be sent to landfill if it is too heavily contaminated. It is harder to sell on domestic and international markets, may contribute to stockpiling on site and can create serious safety issues for staff.

In the wake of changes in the global recycling industry it also aims to simplify recycling messages, highlight recent changes and support the Australian Government’s call for movement towards a circular economy.

It outlines new simple recycling routines to help us Recycle Right.

In order to ensure the material in our yellow bins continues to be recycled, we are asking that people keep it simple and clean. 

The campaign is asking people to follow the six Recycle Right messages below for using your yellow lid recycling bin:

  • Keep it simple: Only recycle paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers.
  • Keep out soft plastics: This includes all plastic bags, even if they have a recycling symbol, are degradable or compostable, and other soft plastics including cling wrap, chip packets and bread bags.
  • Keep out small items: Any items smaller than a credit card. All plastic lids now need to be removed from bottles and those smaller than a credit card put in your landfill bin.
  • Keep it Safe: Keep out strapping, hose, netting, wires, building materials and other hazardous materials.
  • Keep it Clean: wipe or rinse any excess food and drink from all bottles, containers and tins before placing them in your recycling bin. Keep out food scraps, nappies and soiled paper
  • Keep it Loose: put each item into your yellow recycling bin separately, don’t bag, box or contain your recyclable items. 

Over 5000 people have visited the new Recycling Discovery Hub in Hume since it opened in May 2018 which demonstrates how enthusiastic the community is about recycling and waste. Residents can book a group visit or attend a public open day to find out what happens to the recycling once they put it in the yellow bin and how they can Recycle Right.

The campaign has been supported by the NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.