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Canberra recycling campaign launched to change residents’ recycling habits

A Recycle Right campaign has been launched in Canberra to encourage residents to create new recycling habits.

The campaign, announced in early July, is designed to help reduce contamination and ensure that material can be easily recycled back into other products.

It outlines six messages when using the yellow recycling bin:

  • Keep it simple: Only recycle paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers.
  • Keep out soft plastics: This includes all plastic bags, even if they have a recycling symbol, are degradable or compostable, and other soft plastics including cling wrap, chip packets and bread bags.
  • Keep out small items: Any items smaller than a credit card. All plastic lids need to be removed from bottles and those smaller than a credit card put in your landfill bin.
  • Keep it Safe: Keep out strapping, hose, netting, wires, building materials and other hazardous materials.
  • Keep it Clean: Wipe or rinse any excess food and drink from all bottles, containers and tins before placing them in your recycling bin. Keep out food scraps, nappies and soiled paper.
  • Keep it Loose: Put each item into your yellow recycling bin separately, don’t bag, box or contain your recyclable items.

Minister for City Services, Chris Steel, said that as a result of the national waste crisis, the Recycle Right campaign is a step to simplifying recycling messages, highlighting recent changes to how items are recycled and it supports Canberra residents to reduce contamination in their recycling bins.

“While Canberran’s are enthusiastic about recycling, contamination is an ongoing issue at our Materials Recovery Facility in Hume, which sorts materials from the recycling bins of the whole region.

“In order to ensure the material in our yellow bins continues to be recycled, we are asking that people keep it simple, safe and clean. It’s important our recyclables are clean and free of contamination, so we can send them off for remanufacturing into high quality recycled products.”

The campaign was originally developed for regional councils in Northern NSW and funded by the NSW EPA – Waste Less Recycle More grant.

It has now been adapted and rolled out by the ACT and surrounding local councils and is part of a Canberra Region Joint Organisation initiative to improve recycling outcomes in the region.

“The governments of the Canberra Region are committed to responsible management of our waste resources. By working together, we are sending one clear set of messages to the entire region to recycle right,” Steel said.

Residents can also use the online Recyclopaedia to find out how to responsibly dispose of over 250 everyday items. It provides a quick guide on what to put in each bin and outlines alternative suggestions for minimising waste and reuse.