Recycling - Home, School, Work
Recycling at home, school and work
Townsville residents recycle approximately 12,500 tonnes per year. Now it’s time to look at how we can work together to keep improving our efforts.
As well as understanding what can and can't be recycled, we ask that your recyclables are free from food and other contaminants, never bagged, and free from broken glass or other hazardous materials.
Download our Waste and Recycling Quick Guide (PDF 4.2MB)
What happens to your recycling?
All recyclables collected in Townsville are taken to our materials recovery facility where they go through a sorting process to separate products into their commodity groups (e.g. cardboard, plastics, deodorant cans).
Once sorted, the product is then baled and transported via rail to south east QLD where it goes through the recycling process and is turned back into new and amazing products.
Items such as plastic bottles and containers can be recycled into new bottles and containers, plastic chairs and decking, kids play equipment, car bumper bars even clothes and carpet material.
Paper and cardboard can be recycled up to 10 times until the paper fibres become too brittle to turn into new paper and cardboard product. Once paper reaches this stage it is simply turned into items like tissues and toilet paper which we throw away or flush down the toilet.
Glass is infinitely recyclable. This means it can be recycled over and over, forever. Glass can be made back into new glass bottles and jars, or used to make ceramic tiles, cement, paint additives even road base and bedding for new pipes and construction works.
Steel and aluminium, like glass, are also infinitely recyclable. These items can be smelted into new cans and bottles, but also go to making car parts, tools, bicycles, fences… the list is almost endless!
Recycling at home
In 2015 we did a waste and recycle characterisation audit. This audit provided valuable information about our residents’ waste and recycling habits.
The main findings from this study showed:
- Residents on average produce 14.2kg of waste per week and 10.2kg of recycling per fortnight.
- Our waste bins (red or green lidded bins) contain 30% recyclable packaging. If correctly placed in the yellow lidded bin, this would result in an additional 16,500 tonnes of recyclables being processed. Learn more about what can go in your recycle bin.
- Our waste bins contain up to 18% garden organics and a further 26% food waste that could be composted at home. That is 6kg of amazing compost each week that we are throwing away. Learn more about composting tips and tricks for your lawn.
- Our kerbside recycle bins contain about 27% waste materials that should be placed in the red or green lidded waste bin. Common waste items incorrectly binned include garden organics, food scraps, bags of general rubbish and nappies, donation items such as clothing and toys, and electrical goods.
Ways to reduce your impact (the 4 R’s):
- Refuse to use single use items like shopping bags and disposable coffee cups. Take your own next time!
- Reuse items. Can you donate it, fix it or turn it into something new again?
- Recycle or compost. Learn more about recycling and composting.
- Recover. Items like batteries, scrap metals, oils and concrete can be deposited at designated areas of our landfill sites for processing. Find out more about transfer stations and what they accept.
- Dispose. Only throw it out if there is no other alternative.
Upgrade your yellow bin
Too much recycling? Are you having to put some of your recycling in the general waste because you have run out of room? Council now offers residents the opportunity to upgrade to a 360L recycling bin. Contact us to find out how.
Recycling at work
Recycling at work is exactly the same as recycling at home.
Our recycling education officer can conduct toolbox talks with your workplace to dispel some of those myths about recycling and answer any questions you or your staff may have.
For more information please contact us, attentioning your correspondence to the waste education officer.
Rub Out Rubbish videos
Watch these short and entertaining videos to learn more about what happens to your waste and recycling, how to reduce the pressure on landfill, and the importance of recycling and what it becomes.