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Change 71

Get to know your bins

Know your rubbish.

Bin night, right? So many bins, so little time. But taking just one minute, out of the 1440 we have each day, to put the right thing into your kerbside bins is more than just our civic duty. It can help save a tonne of landfill. Like, 67 millions tonnes of it a year. Some Australian states are recycling up to 70% of what they throw away, by recycling properly. How? Simply by knowing what can and can’t go into each bin.

Putting the right thing in the right bin is the easiest way to make sure more rubbish gets recycled. And less gets buried underneath us as toxic, expensive landfill. Added bonus: recycling right reduces our use of raw materials, which are finite. (Finite. That’s the scary opposite of infinite).

“But mum, why can’t someone else do it?” Automated sorting machines have the filthy, stinkin’ honour of separating what’s in your kerbside bin, at the recycling plant. But when a plastic bag contaminates your bin-full of recyclables, the sorting machine can’t separate the good from the bad. Meaning the whole load goes to landfill. What a literal waste.

Instead of spending squillions upgrading recycling plants to separate cling wrap from cabbage, there’s this amazing technology called YOU to do the job instead. Here’s some hot tips to help us all do better on bin night:

  • Do the scrunch test. Plastic you can easily scrunch in your hand, like soft plastic bags, cling wrap, or clear film packaging, can’t be recycled in traditional recycling, but may be able to be REDcycled.
  • Say no to Polystyrene. The stuff that keeps your new TV safe, or comes in tiny bauble-size for your beanbag, is definitely not recyclable. Bits that fly away from landfill wind up in the digestive systems of birds and marine life. So dispose of it carefully, or avoid it altogether.
  • Turn old banana skins into soil. Up to 47% of what goes in our rubbish bins is food and garden waste. Instead of sending leftovers to landfill, separate them into your organic waste bin or home compost, so they can decompose and turn into rich soil. That grows more bananas. The circle of life!

Wondering how else you can make a difference?  Learn about our plans that support green energy.