14 Items You Can Recycle - But Probably Aren't (Part Two)
Author: Brad Gray
As more recycling programs pop up around the country it’s important to keep up to date. So in the second part of this article we look at seven more items that most Australians could be recycling - but probably aren’t.
See Part One of the article for the first seven items.
- Light Globes - Light globes come in a few different types which differ in composition as well as means of disposal. Fluorescent tubes, compact fluoros (CFLs), HIDs and metal halides all contain mercury and need to be recycled through council, commercial or community programs that safely separate the different elements. Incandescent globes and halogens can be recycled through some of these programs or can simply be wrapped in paper and disposed of in the garbage bin. They are made from low value and non-toxic materials which makes recycling them very difficult.
- Mailing Satchel - If your workplace uses lots of Australia Post mailing satchels you can sign up to the free Mailing Satchel Recycling Program run in conjunction with TerraCycle. Once you’ve signed up you just bag up your satchels, download a shipping label and post them off to be recycled.
- Paint - Under the new PaintBack scheme 15 cents is added to the price of each litre of paint which is used to establish collection points and recycling processes for un-used paint. PaintBack locations are beginning to appear around the country. Many councils, state-run clean out programs and the Community Recycling Centres in NSW also collect paint. Find a site near you.
- Ink and Toner Cartridges - Whether you use ink jet cartridges at home or toners at work recycling them is easy though 'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark'. There are collection boxes in over 4,000 retail outlets and your workplace can apply for your own box. And better still it’s completely free to the user as the participating manufacturers – Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera - cover the costs.
- Pizza Boxes - An increasing number of councils accept pizza boxes for recycling. They just need to be free of solid food and too much oil. If the base it too soiled, you can tear it off and dispose of it in the garbage bin and recycle the top.
- Soft Plastics - You can drop your used soft plastics including bread, cereal, pasta, lolly and dry cleaning bags off at participating (metro) Coles and some Woolworths stores where REDcycle will recycle them into new products like furniture for schools. The basic rule is that if you can scrunch it you can recycle it. (Residents in some councils like those around Perth, plus Ballina, Lismore, and Moreland can recycle soft plastics in the council bin.) Make sure you follow council advice re soft plastic as it can cause problems if it ends up in the wrong system.
- Toothpaste Tubes and Brushes - These are tricky and definitely can’t go in your home recycling bin but can be recycled though TerraCycle’s Oral Care Recycling Program. The program is ideal for workplaces or schools as it also operates as a fundraiser.
So are there any items on this list that you're not recycling? Follow the link to find out more or check out RecyclingNearYou.com.au for lots more recycling information.
Brad was Planet Ark's Head of Campaigns for 10 years. He trained and worked as a history and geography teacher before moving into the health education sector for 14 years. With a strong passion for human environments, Brad started with Planet Ark in 2007 as Recycling Programs Manager.
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