On this page you can see some of these myths from a City of Melville perspective, plus how to use the FOGO system to increase recycling and reduce contamination.
1. Putting my recycling in a plastic bag is fine. It will still get recycled.
No, it won’t. Bags could contain all sorts of nasties from general rubbish to dirty nappies, or worse!. With up to 60 tonnes an hour of recycling to go through, staff do not have time to open each bag. Anything in a bag goes straight to landfill.
2. We can recycle all our beverage cartons.
Any non foil lined beverage carton is fine to go in the recycling – just make sure you take the lid off first. Also 2020 will see the introduction of the 10c container refund in WA. A trial run at Kidchella 2019 brought in 2,459 containers in just 4 hours. Watch out for a Cash For Cans collection point near you next year.
3. I don’t think glass should go in the recycling bin.
We’re lucky here in WA, all our glass gets crushed and used for road base. That means that pretty much any type of glass can go in your recycling bin. Avoid those with film on such as mirror glass or toughened such as Pyrex. All the rest can go loose into your yellow lidded recycling bin.
4. Our recycling just gets dumped in landfill!
WA is doing a great job with it’s recycling. Many of the stories about wasted recycling relate to poor practice in other states, but not us. Each year 1,043,588 recycling bins are emptied in the City of Melville and our recycling is sorted at the Canning Vale Resource Recovery and Recycling Centre. Here things that should not be in the recycling bin, such as plastic bags, polystyrene, take away cups and straws, organics and food contaminated paper, are removed. These contaminants do go to landfill. The rest is sent off to become new materials..
5. Organics are fine to go in landfill. They rot down anyway.
Food and garden organics do break down in landfill but they produce greenhouse gasses (especially methane) and leachate – an acidic liquid that can contaminate ground water. Organics in landfill are lost to the composting system – what a waste. Since the FOGO roll out City of Melville has collected 4198.37T of organics and sent them off for composting.
6. My plastic bag can go in the recycling bin.
Plastic bags, and any other soft plastic wrappers or bags, foul up the recycling system. They get caught up in the machinery and stop it from working or they go flat and behave like paper, poisoning the paper stream. It’s the red lidded general rubbish bin for them or take them back to the RedCycle (please add link https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/education/softplastic.cfm) drop offs found at Woolworths or Coles.
7. Single use plastic cutlery and straws can go in the recycling bin.
Single use plastics cannot be recycled via your recycling bin. They are too small or they shatter and contaminate the other recycling streams. They often do not follow the ‘made of one material’ rule for recyclables. Same goes for polystyrene cups and trays.
8. Biodegradable or compostable things are fine to go in the recycling bin.
City of Melville’s caddy liners are compostable but they should never go in the yellow lidded bin. They are designed for the lime green lidded FOGO bin only. Biodegradable or compostable materials.get caught up with the recyclable plastics and contaminate them.