The Mackay community has embraced recycling and is helping to ensure that millions of cans, bottles, jars and newspapers are recycled each fortnight.
Recycling is important, not only for reducing waste that goes to landfill, but also conserving the environment by saving the amount of natural resources such as trees, sand, oil, iron ore and bauxite being used to make new products.
Only certain items can be recycled at the Material Recovery Facility in Paget. Anything else is contamination.
What is recycling contamination?
Contamination occurs when the wrong things are placed in the yellow-lidded recycling bin. It doesn't necessarily mean the item isn't recyclable, or reusable, it just means that it can't be recycled through council's recycling process. Large items that are reusable or recyclable can be taken to Incredable Ltd.
Why is contamination a problem?
At the Materials Recovery Facility recyclables are manually sorted. Contaminants are often dirty and unsafe to sort manually. Items such as syringes, dirty nappies, cigarette butts, and rotting food scraps can cause harm and pose a serious health risk to workers.
Recyclables tied up in plastic bags are a safety risk as the materials cannot be easily seen for sorting. These items are left unopened by workers and are disposed of in landfill.
Contamination may also lead to machinery failure, large metal items, fishing line and electrical cords get caught in the equipment, causing it to shut down for long periods.
What you can put in your yellow-lidded recycling bin
- Paper, cardboard, newspapers, magazines and advertising material
- Plastic bottles and containers with the triangular recycling symbol and numbers 1 to 6 inside the symbol.
- Aluminium and steel cans and aerosols
- Glass bottles and jars
- Milk and juice cartons
What you can't put in your yellow-lidded recycling bin
- Plastic bags, including recyclables tied up in plastic bags
- Ceramics, Pyrex, pottery, china, crockery, ovenware, mirrors, broken mugs, cups and plates
- Disposable nappies
- Garden waste
- Food scraps
- Polystyrene and foam packing material
- Large metal items, pots and pans, car parts
- Electrical items and cords
- Place items loosely in the recycling bin
- Do not tie recyclables up in plastic bags
- Give bottles and jars a quick rinse in used washing up water before placing them in the recycling bin
- Ensure lids are taken off bottles and jars before placing them in the recycling bin (place lids in the general waste bin)
What goes where
Mackay Regional Council is working to reduce the rates of contamination in its kerbside recycling bins with the introduction of a poster highlighting “What goes where”.
The new poster not only highlights what can go in your yellow-lidded bin and what goes in your red/green lidded bin, but also provides alternative recycling or reuse options for many of the everyday items that often end up in the wrong bin.
Residents who would like to keep the poster handy to remind themselves how to recycle right can download a version here, or click on the image below.
The FREE posters are available for schools and body corporates. Please indicate your interest in receiving one in the form below.