What should and shouldn't you be recycling?

Member councils of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation have launched a campaign to educate residents about the items they should and shouldn't be recycling.

The 'Recycle Right' campaign has six simple messages that aim to help people sort between what's rubbish and what's recyclable.

Piles of recycled waste at the ACT Materials Recovery Facility in Hume. Photo: Karleen Minney

Piles of recycled waste at the ACT Materials Recovery Facility in Hume. Photo: Karleen Minney

Yass Valley Council's natural resource and sustainability officer, Rebecca Widdows, said there is still a lot of confusion around the items that belong in the yellow lidded bins.

The councils involved in the campaign want to reduce recycling contamination.

Contamination rates at the ACT's Materials Recycling Facility at Hume have been slowly increasing.

Nationally, around 58 per cent of all plastic and 23 per cent of glass packaging ended up in landfill in 2017/18 because it was put in the wrong bin, according the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation.

"The campaign is a great way to educate our communities on the right ways to recycle with simple routines that anyone can implement," Ms Widdows of Yass Valley Council said.

The six messages are:

  1. Keep it simple: Only recycle paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and containers.
  2. 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.
  3. Keep out small items: Any items smaller than a credit card. All plastic lids now need to be removed from bottles and those smaller than a credit card put in your landfill bin.
  4. Keep it safe: Keep out strapping, hose, netting, wires, building materials and other hazardous materials.
  5. 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
  6. Keep it loose: put each item into your yellow recycling bin separately, don't bag, box or contain your recyclable items.

If you would like further information on waste and recycling, visit https://www.yassvalley.nsw.gov.au/our-services/rubbish-and-recycling/ or contact Yass Valley Council on 6226 1477.