Contamination is costly

If you place items other than those listed on the bin stamp into the yellow-lid recycling bin, you are:

1. Potentially risking the health and safety of NAWMA staff. Item such as gas bottles which can explode, dirty nappies and food scraps pose a threat to the MRF sorters who sort the contents of the recycling bin by hand.

2. Potentially ruining the efforts of other people who have put clean items into their recycling bins

3. Adding to the cost of recycling. Remember, NAWMA is owned by three councils (Salisbury, Playford and Gawler) and any surplus we make is distributed back to these councils for reinvestment in community services and facilities. On the other hand, having to pay to handle and dispose of contaminated recyclables costs us and our community a lot of money.

What you can do to help avoid contamination
Follow the advice on the bin stamp – only place these items into your yellow-lid recycling bin.

NAWMA Household Recycling bin stamp

Whilst some items such as used nappies can never be recycled into new products, there are many other items that can be recycled using alternate systems to the yellow-lid recycling bin. Read more below:

Nappies
Nappies and other sanitary items should not be placed into the yellow-lid recycling bin. These items cannot be recycled into new products so they should only be disposed of into the red-lid general waste bin.

Food scraps
All food scraps can be composted via your green-lid Food and Garden Organics bin. If you don’t have a green-lid bin, please use the red-lid general waste bin for your food scraps. Under no circumstances should food be placed into your yellow-lid recycling bin where it can contaminate other recyclable items and pose a health risk to NAWMA staff who sort through recyclable material by hand.

If you would like to purchase a green-lid bin from NAWMA, you can call our Customer Service Team on 8259 2100. We will even deliver it to your house for free.

Soft plastics
Soft plastics such as clean and dry plastic bags, food packaging from things like bread, frozen vegetables and confectionary, cereal box liners and old ‘green’ bags should be bagged together and taken to a Red Cycle collection point at your local Coles or Woolworths. Please do not place soft plastics in your yellow-lid recycling bin as we cannot recycle them. In fact, they get caught in our recycling equipment and damage it.

Batteries
Damaged batteries can explode and start fires. This is why they should never be put into the yellow-lid recycling bin. Please think of the safety of our collection truck drivers and staff who hand sort all the material from the yellow-lid recycling bins. Responsibly recycle all types of batteries (from hearing aid batteries to car batteries) for free at either of NAWMA’s two Resource Recovery Centres at Edinburgh North and Pooraka.

Textiles
Old clothes and other textiles cannot be recycled via the yellow-lid recycling bin. Any clothes put into the recycling bin will go to landfill. If textiles arrive at NAWMA’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Edinburgh, they can get caught in the recycling equipment and damage it. A much better alternative is to donate good quality, reusable clothing to a charity store. For those things that are no longer usable, please discard of them into the red-lid general waste bin.

Crockery and ceramics
Crockery and ceramics should not be put into the yellow-lid recycling bin because they cannot be recycled into new products via NAWMA’s processes. These items also jeopardise NAWMA’s capacity to recycle glass because the ceramic and crockery mix in with, and contaminate, the recovered glass bottles and jars.

Recycling other items
Items including paint, mattresses, saucepans, electronic waste, tyres and large volumes of cardboard can be recycled at both of NAWMA’s Resource Recovery Centres at Pooraka and Edinburgh North seven days a week. See here for more details.

Several more unusual items such as empty toothpaste tubes, coffee pods and pens can be recycled via the TerraCycle website.

Take home messages
Please use the yellow-lid recycling bin ONLY for the things on the bin stamp. Remember – if in doubt, throw it out! It is better to contaminate the red-lid general waste bin than the yellow-lid recycling bin.

Category: Circular Economy
Post By: NAWMA
Posted: 21st May 2020