Residents urged to respect recycling rules

Date published: 18 May 2020

Townsville City Council is urging residents to recycle responsibly and stop risking the health and safety of staff at the city’s Material Recovery Facility.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said workers sorting through recyclables shouldn’t have to worry about hazards such as used needles, bulky scrap metal, general waste and dead animals.

“The overwhelming majority of Townsville residents recycle properly, following the directions on what can and cannot be put in their yellow-lidded bins, and for that I thank them,” Cr Hill said.

“However, there is a very small minority who aren’t following the rules and through their actions they are putting workers at risk.

“Contamination is a major issue for Council and people need to understand it has a big impact on staff and operations.

“In one instance, parts from a lawn mower were put in a recycling bin, which could hurt staff or severely damage the machinery at the Material Recovery Facility.

"The keys to recycling right are to keep the material simple, safe, and clean."

Council’s Waste and Water Committee Chairman, Russ Cook, said staff sort through around 15,000 tonnes of material each year.

“Most people are doing the right thing but the small minority are contaminating our recyclables, the yellow-lidded bin isn’t the place for batteries or scrap metal,” Cr Cook said.

“Plastic bags are also a big issue as they contaminate the recycled waste Council collects across the city.

Cr Cook said Council is reaching out to residents who aren’t using their bins correctly.

“Drivers stop and put stickers on bins if they can clearly see the load is contaminated so residents know why it wasn’t emptied – this approach is a good way to connect with families and businesses,” Cr Cook said.

“I would encourage people to learn more about recycling on the Council's Recycle Right webpage."