Cockburn: changes made to what can go in recycle bin

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and SUEZ State General Manager Craig Barker.
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and SUEZ State General Manager Craig Barker.

CHANGES have been made to what City of Cockburn residents can put in their yellow recycling bin.

According to the City, global market conditions have forced Perth’s recycling facilities, including Cockburn’s recycler Suez, to change what items could be placed into recycling bins.

In January the Chinese National Sword policy banned the import of plastic and paper waste that had contamination levels greater than 0.5 per cent.

The ensuing oversupply of recycled material into Asia led to Thailand banning plastic imports in June, followed by Malaysia in July and Indonesia last month.

Because of this, Cockburn Waste manager Lyall Davieson said soft plastics, polystyrene, aerosol cans and meat trays were now to be excluded from the yellow recycling bins.

“Suez tells us that up to 20 per cent of recycling it receives is contaminated, compared to historic levels of eight per cent,” he said.

“We know our residents want to make a difference by continuing to put the right things in the right bins.

“This will increase recycling rates in these challenging times, because it will prevent contaminated recyclables being rejected by potential buyers, and then being sent to landfill.”

Suez state general manager Craig Barker said items like soft plastics, polystyrene and meat trays could contaminate the plastic bottles, newspaper and cardboard that was sellable.

“Aerosols are better disposed of through council’s Household Hazardous Waste drop-off scheme due to the risk of explosion and fire caused by flammable residue in the cans, which are a real danger for our employees at Bibra Lake,” he said.

“Meat trays also cannot go into the recycling bin as there is a lot of confusion around what materials they are made from, and so they are treated as a contaminant.”

Residents can take polystyrene to the Henderson Waste Recovery Park for free, where it will be compacted for bulk transportation and recycling, while soft, scrunchable plastics such as plastic wrap, food packaging, cellophane and bubble wrap can be take to the REDcycle collection bins in supermarkets.