There has been much news recently about China not accepting our recyclable waste. Good on you, China. We need to grow up and take responsibility for our own waste. Booming On has some excellent tips for Aussies, and other planet earth citizens, about what you can do to improve recycling outcomes. She is right on about aluminium too. Want to cut down on carbon emissions? Recycle that aluminium.


Plastic-waste-shutterstock_426187984-72dpiThere’s been a lot of talk in Australia recently about recycling, following China’s unexpected announcement in January it would be taking in far less of ours for processing. They do have over 1.4 billion people over there so they have quite a lot of their own recycling to contend with, but it was reportedly the high levels of contamination in recycling that was the catalyst for their revised import restrictions. It’s now set to ban 24 categories of solid waste – not just from us but the US, EU and Japan as well – in an effort to protect their own environment and public health.

This is sending Australian recycling systems into a state of panic. It’s also putting the onus back on us to work out other or better ways of dealing with our own recycling on our own shores, reducing our contamination rates, or even creating less…

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8 thoughts on “Recycling – what’s in and what’s out

  1. I’ve read the Booming on post and what I’m thinking about is this: nearly all plastic has the recycling logo on it, be it ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ plastic. I’ve been putting all plastics with the recycling logo in the yellow bin. Have I been contaminating loads? Just wondering.

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  2. Have you heard what Ipswich’s is planning to do ( or maybe was planning now all the council have been sacked) they are having rubbish inspectors randomly inspecting yellow lid bins and tagging them if their rubbish is contaminated. 3 tags and the bins are confiscated. Now that raises all sorts of questions in my mind. Will those sort of people care and won’t it all just go into land fill anyway…

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    1. No, I hadn’t heard that. I suppose a regular bin with recycling in it going to landfill is less worse than a whole truck’s worth of recycling being contaminated and going to landfill. But maybe they could introduce an opt-in or out system for people who couldn’t be bothered sorting their rubbish on the kerb? Just a thought.

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  3. Germany and Germans praise themselves to be super when it comes to recycling but I´ve heard that in the end it all lands in a land fill or is burned or shipped of to Africa or China to let them deal with our stuff. It just makes me crazy just to think about it! We can only hope that our efforts are not in vain. At least when it comes to paper recycling I´m in good hope that this actually happens. All the other stuff, not so much. 😦

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      1. That´s exactly what I do – re-use!! I´m the one gifting all friends and acquaintances with selfmade cloth shopping bags so the won’t take plastic bags in the store. Although they finally decided to not give them for free anymore, 10 Cents aren’t that much and many people just keep taking them.
        There are many things we can do to avoid producing so much waste, and every little helps.

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