NEW parents will receive nappy-shaped flyers from hospitals as part of a waste manager’s campaign urging them not to put disposable nappies in recycling bins.
Keep Australia Beautiful WA has provided $10,000 through the Community Litter Grants Scheme for the ‘Recycle Right’ campaign.
The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) has used the funding to produce a nappy-shaped flyer telling people to put nappies in general waste bins.
The flyers will be included in the ‘Mother-to-be Bounty Bags’ hospitals distribute to the 21,000 new mothers in WA each year.
According to a recent survey by SMRC, 4 per cent of households within its catchment incorrectly put nappies in yellow-lid recycling bins, resulting in more than 1000 nappies a day ending up in southeastern suburbs recycling bins.
Promoting the initiative at the Wanneroo Show this month, Keep Australia Beautiful Council chairman Michael Aspinall said he wanted to highlight the importance of correct used nappy disposal.
“Supporting projects like this is crucial, given that disposable nappies in yellow-lid recyclable bins end up at resource recovery centres,” he said.
“They are not only a worker health hazard but also contaminate other recyclable products that are then diverted to landfill at significant cost to the local government.
“SMRC was spurred on to offer this new informative flyer after determining its resource recovery centre annually receives about 400,000 used nappies from more than 7000 households’ yellow-lid recycling bins across the cities of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville and Kwinana and the Town of East Fremantle.”
In the northern suburbs, Mindarie Regional Council (MRC) education manager Geoff Atkinson said MRC had been working with other regional councils to raise awareness about baby nappies and adult diapers going into the wrong bins.
“Increasing numbers are being found to be incorrectly disposed of in the yellow-top recycling bin,” he said.
“MRC member councils send their recycling bins to facilities that are privately operated by the companies Cleanaway and Suez.
“These facilities have reported an increase in the incidence of nappies but have not performed a specific audit to determine the full extent of the problem.”
As part of the campaign, SMRC is also advertising correct nappy disposal methods billboards and buses in Perth.
Visit recycleright.wa.gov.au for more information about correct disposal of nappies and alternatives to disposables.