All recycling is good… but some recycling is better. Mixed recycling is popular for ease, but of course leads to confusion as well as contamination. Plastic bags, bagged recyclables, liquids and textiles are all major risks to recycling as they reduce the quality of the load, making materials unsuitable for resale to secondary markets, and the processing of recyclables more difficult.
Source separation involves separating waste into common material streams or categories for separate collection. Sorting at the source involves having more bins available at the home, office or site, but saves you money in the process – did you know a cardboard bin of the same size as a general waste bin will cost you up to half the price to collect and empty. That’s a 50% saving!
Goods and materials commonly targeted for source separation include:
• packaging and paper (such as cardboard, glass, plastics and aluminium cans)
• organic matter (such as food waste and garden waste)
• metals and green waste
• construction and demolition waste (such as concrete, bricks and timber)
• hazardous wastes (such as paint, batteries, chemicals and biomedical items)
• reusable items (such as clothes and accessories, household items and appliances)