Find out how you can dispose of various types of waste and recyclables, in ways that help both the environment and your household.
RECYCLING UPDATE (16 August 2019)
Like many other Councils around Victoria, Moorabool Shire has been directly affected by SKM ceasing to accept recycling. Every day is bringing new developments and we are continuing to investigate all possible avenues for sustainable solutions. Whilst the only option open to us in the short term is sending recyclables to landfill, we are hopeful of reaching an agreement with a recycler in the coming weeks. The current recycling 'crisis' is also an opportunity for innovation in industry, although this will take time.
How does this affect you?
Council has received a number of enquiries from residents about how their rates may be affected. It's important to understand that Councils have gone from receiving a rebate (income) for recyclables up until last year to paying for these materials to be accepted by processors. In the most recent developments, the need to send materials to (a) alternative recyclers or (b) landfill sites incurs significantly higher costs than recycling through our regular contract. Like the many other Councils affected in this way, Moorabool Shire is doing its best to manage these additional costs and looks forward to financial relief from State/Federal Government sources.
So what can you do to help?
- Taking your recyclables to our transfer stations is free and ensures that your materials will be recycled. This is thanks to a separate contract agreement from kerbside material processors. Just remember to separate out your paper and cardboard from your cans, bottles and containers.
- Drop your cans off at 'cash for cans' fundraisers such as https://bacchusmarsh.vic.lions.org.au/projects.
- Please continue to sort your recyclables and waste in your kerbside bins. Council is hopeful of a solution in the near future, so it's important that materials are kept separate in readiness for this.
- Remember you can take your soft plastics (that's plastic bags and other scrunchable plastic packaging) to collection points at Coles and Woolworths stores
- Flattening your recyclables (when safe to do so) and opting for goods with lesser packaging minimises the amount of space required in landfill. Consider storing your recyclables in the short term, if you have the space and can safely do so.
We sincerely thank everyone for their support whilst we negotiate a longer-term solution for recyclables in the Shire.
Recycling right, kerbside
- What can I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
- What cannot go in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
- Recycling Packaging
- Recycling Myths
Recyclable materials that do not belong in the kerbside waste bins
Other ways to do your bit for the environment
What can I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
You can put the following items in your recycling bin:
Paper and cardboard
Aluminium and steel cans
Hard plastic containers including yoghurt and ice-cream containers
Glass bottles and jars
Milk and juice cartons
Empty aerosol cans
What cannot go in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
Never bag your recyclables! All soft plastics (like plastic bags) are classed as contaminants. Items in plastic bags get sent straight to landfill.
Other contaminants that should never go in your recycling bin:
Glass from broken glasses, windows and mirrors
Syringes and needles
The above items cause problems at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and reduce the value of recyclable materials. Do the right things by your community, businesses and the environment by getting it right on bin night.
Recycling is good to do. Sometimes it can feel confusing though... especially when packaging is made of composite materials such as foil and cardboard, or paper and plastic. The good news is that the Australasian Recycling Label (the ARL) is replacing numbers in triangles.
ARL icons show the best way to recycle or dispose of items, such as in these examples:
Recycling things that don't belong in your kerbside bin
Most clean plastics you can scrunch up, such as plastic carry bags, bags used for bread, produce, cereal, biscuits, dog food, potting mix, bubble wrap, Australia Post satchels, foil-lined chip packets and much more. There are some exclusions, like cling film, vinyl packaging, coffee bags and biscuit tray-type plastics, so check out the what to REDcycle list. When you drop off your accepted soft plastics next time you shop at Coles or Woolworths, they are sent for specialist recycling via the REDcycle group to Replas.
As a bonus, you'll have much more space in your red bin!
Food waste makes up an astonishing 25 - 40% of many householders' garbage bins. You can reduce this by reviewing your pantry and fridge and making a list before you head to the shops. It's also worth checking out the simple, tasty and free recipes you can quickly create from the leftovers in your fridge and pantry, at Love Food Hate Waste.
It's also best not to shop when you are hungry!
Whilst mobiles keep us connected to the world around us, many of us also have old ones stashed in the back of our drawers. Mobiles contain valuable and scarce resources such as coltan (tantalite), mined from pristine natural habitats that are home to Orangutans, Sumatran Tigers and other endangered wildlife. So, when the time comes to move your mobile on, be sure to take it to a participating drop-off point for specialist recycling, via Mobile Muster. Typical drop-off locations include phone shops, post offices, civic centres and libraries.
Many of our gadgets rely on batteries that create a significant waste stream. Batteries contain hazards such as lead and acid, so it's important these are kept out of landfill. Do the right thing by taking your dead household batteries* including NBN batteries to transfer stations, Aldi, Bunnings, Officeworks or the Lerderderg Library collection points. And, remember that whilst rechargeable batteries cost more initially, they have a long lifespan when compared to regular batteries, and are therefore a more sustainable choice.
Car batteries can be taken to transfer stations at no fee, or you can donate them locally to the Rotary Club of Ballan to aid its fundraising efforts. Simply drop off your car battery at the True Value hardware store or at First National Real Estate, both on Inglis Street, Ballan.
Unwanted electrical and electronic items (e-waste) create the single biggest waste stream of developed societies. Anything with a battery or cord that is no longer wanted or needed can become an environmental problem.
Did you know? E-waste is now banned from landfill in Victoria, and it doesn't belong in any of your kerbside bins. Instead, drop off your e-waste items for free at Council's transfer stations. You can also drop off mobile phones, small batteries, light globes and printer cartridges at the sorting station at the Lerderderg Library in Main Street, Bacchus Marsh. E-waste is then collected and processed by specialist recyclers, ensuring fewer virgin materials are used in our gadgets, mobiles, computers and TVs in the future.
Other ways to do your bit for the environment
The waste hierarchy teaches us all to rethink and reduce our consumer habits, rather than using resources that are often in limited supply. As consumers, we have the power to make sustainable choices about our purchases every day.
Most single-use coffee cups are not recyclable through kerbside collections. A reusable "keep" cup lasts for years and often gets you a cafe discount!
Are you a new parent? Have you considered cloth nappies? Whether you're just starting the journey or are an old hand, the maths is staggering, with around 2500 disposable nappies being used in the first year alone. That's a lot of space taken up in your garbage bin and therefore a lot of landfill waste! Check out the Bacchus Marsh Cloth Nappy Library. It offers information, a trial lending service and a supportive ear: http://www.mooraboolmeg.org.au/Home/cloth-nappy-library
Buy, Swap, Sell
Got something you no longer want or need, but that is good enough to "go round" again for someone else to make use of? Connect with your local community through your local paper or online buy-swap-sell, garage sales and charities including food banks. Buying or being given something preloved is budget-friendly and saves materials, water, energy and carbon miles needed to create, transport and new items. Plus, you might just chance upon that one-of-a-kind treasure!
So show your op shops some love! You can also pick up the excellent "Op Shop Adventures" free guide, packed with tips and location info, from the Visitor Information Centre or read onscreen at https://recyclingrevolution.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Op-Shop-Adventures-web-version.pdf
Be sure to BYO reusable bags whenever you go shopping. And have you heard about Boomerang Bags? This amazing enterprise has grown from two friends with a home-grown solution to an environmental headache, to over 800 groups around the world sewing cloth bags to reduce our reliance on plastic. Check them out at https://boomerangbags.org.