Recycling FAQ part one: Your questions answered

In a bid to cut contamination rates by more than half, Ipswich City Council has come up with a simple, definitive list of just four categories for the yellow lid bin as part of the fortnightly kerbside collection service.

As part of the new recycling strategy, council is rolling out an extensive information campaign to help residents know exactly what they can put in the yellow lid bin and recycle right.

There have been plenty of questions from residents this week and we begin an ongoing series today answering all your queries.

Does council have a contract in place for recycling?

Yes, we have a 12-month contract from May 2018 with Visy Recycling. Recycling has resumed again in Ipswich.

What happens at the end of the contract term?

In the next 12 months, council proposes to go to tender for a variety of waste and recycling services, solutions and initiatives.

Can I use a plastic bin liner?

Plastic bin liners or plastic bags (to collect recyclable items) are not accepted in the recycling bin as they contaminate the load.

Is recycling still going to landfill and when will that stop?

As of 22 May 2018, recycling services have resumed. Delivery of recyclates is now going to Visy Recycling for materials recovery.

What will happen if recyclable contamination levels remain too high?

A detailed recycled bin auditing program will take place over the next three to four months. This will help council identify areas of high contamination and target education programs to these areas. If there are still high contamination rates in these areas, there will be an option to remove recycling bins after a consultation process.

Do I need to wash my plastic bottles and containers before placing them in the yellow lidded recycling bin?

All that we require is for the bottles and/or containers to be empty. If you would like to give them a rinse to keep smells out of your bin that is okay.

Why does it cost council so much to recycle?

There are additional charges applicable to any contaminated loads being delivered by council to Visy Recycling. In addition, China has introduced a new policy (National Sword Policy) whereby there are very stringent contamination levels which has meant that Australia and other countries around the world are unable to meet these strict requirements under current sorting practices. As such, there is now no overseas market value for recyclable materials. This has driven up the cost for recycling processors, as they now need to find new markets for these recyclable materials and at this point in time, there are limited suitable options in Australia.

Can I still upgrade my recycle bin to the larger 360L size?

No, unfortunately this upgrade is not available at this time.

Has the collection of green waste been affected by the changes?

Green waste is still being collected and composted as per normal contractual arrangements.

Why can’t we put glass in the recycling bin anymore?

Glass diminishes the value of other recyclable materials in the yellow-lidded bins. The problem is broken glass affects the quality of other lightweight recyclable materials, such as paper and cardboard. Council is in the process of developing a separate glass collection system and exploring recycling solutions. For now, you can drop off clean glass bottles and jars only (with lids removed) at either Riverview or Rosewood recycling and refuse centres. More drop-off areas will be set up in the coming weeks. As a last resort, place them in your general waste bin for collection.

In a bid to cut contamination rates by more than half, council has come up with a simple, definitive list of just four categories for the yellow lid bin as part of the fortnightly kerbside collection service. They are:

1. Paper: Newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office paper

2. Plastic: Bottles and containers (milk, soft drink and shampoo bottles; yoghurt and ice-cream tubs)

3. Cardboard: Boxes including clean pizza boxes

4. Cans and tins: Aluminium and steel (drink cans, food tins and aerosol cans)

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