Wondering what happens to your kerbside recycling?

National Recycling Week is a good time to take a closer look at NAWMA’s household recycling operations.

After collection at the kerbside, recyclable items embark on an amazing journey of transformation as they go through the process of being made into new products. This protects natural resources and also creates local jobs.

Each day, NAWMA receives around 225 tonnes of household recyclables collected from homes across its three constituent councils as well from 27 other councils across South Australia (SA). The items are hand sorted by a team of 50 staff at NAWMA’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Edinburgh. The recovered materials are sent to various specialised reprocessing and manufacturing companies, mostly in SA.

This is what happens to your kerbside recycling:

Your metal cans are turned into new steel and aluminium products like new food cans and sheet metal to make roofing material. 

Glass jars are sorted into different colours and then recycled back into new jars.

Small pieces of glass from broken containers are sent to a quarry for grinding into tiny particles so that they can be used instead of sand to build roads and footpaths.

Recovered glass fines in paving base
Recovered glass fines being used as a sand substitute in a footpath base

Paper and cardboard are turned into new fibre products like cardboard boxes and newsprint.

Your PET (recycle code 1) plastic containers are turned back into plastic containers and polyester yarn to make synthetic fabric.

Your HDPE (recycle code 2) plastic containers are turned into an array of durable outdoor items like fence posts, car stops and street furniture.

Most of the other hard, rigid plastics are turned into products like pallets and plant pots.

Please remember NAWMA cannot recycle any type of soft plastics – this includes shopping bags, food packaging, bubble wrap and potting mix bags. The good news is that when clean, these items and many others can be recycled for free when you are at a supermarket doing your grocery shopping by using the Red Cycle recycling bin at the front of the store.

Please think of NAWMA’s MRF staff who hand sort your recyclables and remember to put only clean items into your kerbside recycling bin.

Interested in seeing recycling up close? Call 8259 2100 to book a tour.

Post By: NAWMA
Posted: 2nd November 2021