Feb 18, 2016

Waste audit results reveal residents’ rubbish habits

press release

15th September 2015

Waste audit results reveal residents’ rubbish habits

Inspection of 1000 randomly chosen waste and recycle bins in Townsville and Magnetic Island has provided insight into the rubbish habits of the city’s residents.

The report of the audit conducted in June, has revealed statistics which will assist Council to design targeted education campaigns, policy and infrastructure to ensure the region is responsibly managing its waste and recyclables.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Ray Gartrell said the audit found that on average 30% of the contents of waste bins (red or green lid bins) contained recyclable materials.

“Recycling is important for our environment and we all need to ensure recycled products go in the yellow lidded bin.  As a community we need to reduce significantly the amount of recyclable materials going to our landfills,” Cr Gartrell said.

In terms of recycle bins (yellow lidded bins), the audit discovered bins contained on average 30% non-recyclable items in Townsville and 8% on Magnetic Island.

“Items that are not recyclable through your kerbside service include electronics, clothes, textiles and shoes, garden waste and plastic bags,” Cr Gartrell said.

“All of these items can be recycled through other means including E-Waste collection points, op-shops, home composting and plastic bags can be returned to your local supermarket for recycling.”

Executive Manager Utility Services Matthew McCarthy said items should not be wrapped in plastic bags because they are deemed too dangerous for staff to sort, so they must be diverted to regular waste, even if they contain recyclables.

“It’s important that residents are mindful of what they place in each bin, to ensure we have the best outcome for our landfills and our environment,” Mr McCarthy said.

He said residents are also asked to rinse recyclable items to improve the amenity of the recycling plant and improve the quality of the recyclables.

Other waste bin findings:

·         Since 1998, the percentage of recyclable glass, plastics and steel and aluminium in the waste bins is slowly increasing while the percentage of recyclable paper and cardboard in the waste bins has declined from approximately 26% to 14%.

·         Food organics (25.8%), recyclable paper and cardboard (14.1%) and garden organics (13.5%) made up the top three components of a waste bin.


Other recycle bin findings:

·         Recyclable paper and cardboard (31.8%), recyclable glass (29.5%) and general waste (8.2%) made up the top three components of a recycle bin.

·         Recyclable items include paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, aerosols, steel and aluminium cans and plastic bottles and containers.

For more information on bin collection and recycling, visit council’s websitewww.townsville.qld.gov.au

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