National Recycling Week

In November 1996, Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling.  Now in its 25th year, this established and highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change, by:

  • Promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiatives
  • Giving people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school.

The importance of closing the recycling loop by buying products made with recycled content is also key to creating a sustainable future.  By keeping these materials in circulation for as long as possible, this benefits the environment by reducing the extraction of virgin materials for new products, as well as the water and energy it takes to make them.

What is e-waste?

What is e-waste?

E-waste (short for electronic-waste) is electrical equipment that no longer works and can’t be repaired. It Includes computers, printers, mobile phones, TVs, monitors and electrical accessories like keyboards, power supplies and cables.

Some e-waste products are recycled under Product Stewardship Schemes, this means that when you buy these products a portion of their price is used to pay for the collection and recycling of them once they no longer work. In Australia, this includes entertainment equipment, mobile phones, computers and printers.

Not all e-waste collection and recycling is covered by a Product Stewardship Scheme so small fees are sometimes necessary when the items are returned for recycling to help with the cost of dismantling these valuable resources.

NOTE!  E-waste recycling services vary around Tasmania.
> > Check with your local council to see what can be recycled in your area.
> > Electrical-goods retailers (such as Officeworks) also sometimes collect e-waste recycling.

Here’s a general guide to the e-waste items most commonly accepted for recycling in Tasmania :

Laptops / Notebooks
PDAs / Tablets
Monitors (including flat-screen LCD)
Printers and multi-functional devices (MFDs)
Power supplies and adaptors

Special collections may also exist for:

Mobile phones
Printer cartridges
Hard drives
Air conditioning units
Smart boards
Docking stations
Modems and set-top boxes
Games consoles

Can’t find a local e-waste recycling outlet?

You can post your e-waste for responsible recycling for a flat fee of $14.95 thanks to a partnership between TechCollect and Australia Post known as TechExpress.

Post up to 22kgs of e-waste, including mobile phones, laptops, keyboards, computer parts and accessories. Simply buy and download a postage label and follow the steps on the TechExpress website.

Can it be repaired?

Fixing damaged electronic items can save money and conserve resources. Manufacturers may offer repair services, especially if still under warranty. There are also Repair Cafes and licensed technicians who can service and repair a wide range of electronic products.

See what’s possible, you can always turn to recycling as a last resort if repairs cannot be made and re-use if no longer an option.

Tips to reduce e-waste

  1. If you buy new equipment, ask about reuse and recycling options to help inform which product you choose.
  2. Avoid disposable products. Only buy products that are durable or repairable and have a good warranty.
  3. Consider leasing equipment that can be returned when it is no longer needed.

Read more about e-waste in our fact sheet:

Thanks for rethinking waste in Tasmania!

Time for Kerbside Recycling Bin Assessments in the Cradle Coast

Making a Good Sort even better

Kerbside recycling bin checks are on again in North West Tasmania!

As part of an annual program managed by Cradle Coast Waste Services, more than 10,000 random household recycling bins will be examined to identify trends in recycling – what’s being recycled right and what items are mistakenly being put into recycling bins.

The lessons learnt will guide regional education and awareness activities with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of resources recovered and reducing the amount of recyclable materials that end up in landfill.

Recycling Audit and Data Officers will be looking at a selection of bins in Burnie City, Circular Head, Central Coast, Devonport City, Kentish, Latrobe and Waratah Wynyard municipal areas over two periods from 21 September – 31 October and 16 November – 27 November 2020.

The checks involve viewing the contents of each recycling bin placed at the kerbside and determining a performance result:

  • Fail: When contaminants comprise more than 10% of the bin’s total content.
  • Improvement Required: When contaminants comprise between 5% and 10% of the bin’s total content.
  • Pass: Where there is only minor contamination less than 5% of the bin’s total content.

Upon completion of the assessment the Officers place a corresponding tag on the bin to notify residents of the outcome, and an information brochure and individualised written feedback may be left in the resident’s letterbox.

The Officers are hoping to see continued improvement in the pass rate which has generally been increasing over the past seven years of the program.

How to be a Good Sort?

The biggest problem items found in kerbside recycling in the Cradle Coast region are:

  1. Plastic bags (the correct way to recycle these is in the RedCycle bins found in all Coles and Woolworths supermarkets)
  2. Plastic food packaging, chip packets, bubble wrap, cling wrap and other ‘soft plastics’ that can be scrunched (the correct way to recycle these is in the RedCycle bins found in all Coles and Woolworths supermarkets)
  3. Recycling packed inside boxes or bags (the correct way to recycle these is to keep items loose and jumbled up within the bin)
  4. Polystyrene (there is no recycling option for these in North West Tasmania so best to avoid this material if possible, or place in the garbage bin)

Besides kerbside recycling, there are many other recycling services available in Tasmania, including light globes, batteries and scrap metal. Check out this list of FREE recycling available across the state:

Which type of polystyrene can be recycled in Northern Tasmania?

Which type of polystyrene can be recycled in Northern Tasmania?

Look at the size of the foam ‘bubbles’ in the polystyrene. If they are big and soft, that is likely to be expanded polystyrene and that CAN be recycled in Northern Tasmania.

If no ‘bubbles’ can be seen in the polystyrene or they are very small and the surface is very smooth, they cannot be recycled and need to go in the garbage bin (best to avoid buying these packages if possible when shopping).

Expanded form polystyrene CAN be recycled in the Northern Tasmanian recycling program. This includes protective packaging found around electrical goods and other fragile items:

YES to these:

Compact form polystyrene can NOT be recycled in the Northern Tasmanian recycling program. This includes meat trays, coffee cups, egg cartons, take-away food clamshells, beads used in bean bags, and plastic packing ‘peanuts’:

NO to these:

Polystyrene can be dropped off for recycling at any of these locations:
The City of Launceston Waste Centre (Cavalry Road, Mowbray.  Monday – Sunday: 8.00 am to 4.45 pm)
George Town Waste Transfer Station
Exeter Waste Transfer Station
St Helens Waste Transfer Station
Longford Waste Transfer Station and
Deloraine Waste Transfer Station.

The polystyrene recycling program is an initiative of the Northern Tasmanian Waste Management Group and its member councils.

Travis the Garbologist gets a visit from Veolia

After reading about northern Tasmanian student, Travis, and his passion for recycling in the Rethink Waste Tasmania Good Sorts, Veolia reached out to him with a little surprise.

The Veolia team arranged for three staff and a couple of recycling collection trucks to visit Travis and deliver a goody-bag of treats. Travis was invited to sit up in a truck and chat to the staff about all aspects of their jobs. A great experience for for someone aspiring to be a ‘Garbologist’!

Thank you Veolia for supporting Tasmania’s future waste warriors and sharing this summary of their visit:

Free Hazardous Waste Recycling and Disposal in the Cradle Coast

Have you been to your council’s waste transfer station or resource recovery centre lately?

It’s not a tip. It’s THE place to take unwanted items for recycling.   Every council in the Cradle Coast Waste Management Group has at least one; so you don’t have to travel far (Circular Head, Waratah-Wynyard, Burnie, Central Coast, Devonport, Latrobe and Kentish Council areas).

These centres now also accept for FREE and safe recycling or disposal:Hazardous waste recycling

  • light globes and fluoro tubes
  • paint and paint tins
  • household batteries and
  • electronic waste including old TVs, printers, computers, computer accessories and electrical cables.

Don’t risk harming the environment by throwing them in your garbage bin.
Search for your local Council on our home page, or call your Council to find out more.

Buy it Back Day

Planet Ark’s Buy It Back Day will be held on Saturday 17 November 2018 during National Recycling Week.
It is a day for the community to celebrate National Recycling Week with mindful purchasing by:

  • Buying something secondhand
  • Buying a product made from recycled materials.


National Recycling Week an Opportunity to Close the Loop

Tasmanians are getting better at recycling with more than 242,000 tonnes of materials collected for re-use in the last year and a steadily declining rate of contamination.

According to Northern Tasmanian Waste Management Group member, Michael Attard the positive trend has been helped by the arrival of new recycling services and a change in attitude.

“Tasmanians are more interested in and aware of what happens to their waste than ever before.”

“Combine this with the arrival of specialised recycling services such as soft plastics collection bins in major supermarkets and the growing number of food and organics collections being introduced across Tasmania and you see less recyclable materials ending up in landfill,” Mr Attard said.

For this trend to be sustainable, the state’s three regional Waste Management Groups are encouraging people to seek out packaging and products made from recycled material or with high recycled content so that the good materials keep going around.

“Recycling as a system only works if we all make an effort to close the loop,” Mr Attard said. “Putting recyclable materials in a recycling bin is only half the story.”

“That means supporting companies that actually use recycled ingredients to make their packaging and products. If we all do our bit to generate demand for recycled goods, then waste will continue to be reduced and recycling can continue to thrive.”

“Demand for recycled products will also increase the viability of more Australian-based recycling processors. We should be aiming for a circular economy for recycling where materials are reprocessed and reused within Australia.”

Cardboard, newspaper and aluminium cans typically have high levels of recyclable content in Australia. Packaging increasingly shows the presence and level of recycled materials used and people can search online for directories of products made from recyclables, including on the Planet Ark recyclingnearyou website.

“You and I may be motivated to recycle for environmental reasons, but businesses also need to see that there’s adequate demand and lasting financial benefits in changing their production methods and materials.”
“It’s another example where individual decisions and actions can add up to make a big difference,” Mr Attard said.

National Recycling Week is being celebrated across Australia from 12 – 18 November.

Kerbside Recycling Bin Assessments in the Cradle Coast region

Starting: 17 September 2018
Location: Circular Head, Waratah-Wynyard, Burnie City, Central Coast, Devonport City, Latrobe and Kentish Council areas.

Kerbside Recycling Bin Assessments are coordinated by the Cradle Coast Waste Management Group on behalf of its member Councils and take place a couple of times a year in North West Tasmania.

The assessments help tell the Group whether landfill diversion education campaigns are working and where it might need to focus more attention.

If your kerbside recycling bin is randomly selected for assessment, the assessor will check the contents of your bin before it gets collected by the truck. They’re looking for non-recyclable materials, known as contaminants.

The assessment is a great opportunity for you to receive advice on some of the more confusing aspects of recycling such as:
Foam meat trays can NOT be recycled in your kerbside bin, even if they feature the plastics identification code triangle.
Paper towel and paper tissues can NOT be recycled in your kerbside bin, they break apart and reduce the quality of other recyclables by sticking to them and causing contamination.
Foil food bags can NOT be recycled in your kerbside bin, these are made of plastic not aluminium and should be placed in your rubbish bin.
Soft plastics such as shopping bags, bread bags and biscuit wrappers can NOT be recycled in your kerbside bin. Take soft plastics to participating supermarkets’ collection bins for recycling.

Bins included in the assessment will have a tag placed on their handles, advising of the assessment results and some friendly do’s and don’ts relevant to your kerbside recycling bin contents.

Good Bad Kerbside Items

For more advice on what can and can’t be recycled via your kerbside recycling bin, check out this handy guide:

verticaldividerRethink Waste aims to improve our efforts at reducing, reusing and
recycling in order to decrease the amount of waste that ends up as landfill.
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