Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

From Our Bin to Where? Understanding the Journey of Gympie's Recycling

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

From Our Bin to Where? Understanding the Journey of Gympie's Recycling

Article excerpt

ROWAN SCHINDLER

Reporter

rowan.schindler@gympietimes.com

AT A GLANCE

Two tonnes of waste created per person per year.

Plastic takes 150-600 years to break down, but never fully decomposes.

Plastic also requires large amounts of oil to manufacture and is toxic to the environment.

Metals takes 200-300 years to break down.

Glass takes one million years to break down.

THINK twice before you put that soiled nappy into your recycling bin because there will be a person on the other end who has to deal with it.

Gympie Regional Council runs tours of the Cleanaway facility in Hervey Bay, which sorts Gympie's recycling. The Gympie Times joined a tour this week, guided by Gympie Regional Council and Cleanaway waste education co-ordinator Elli Webb.

Ms Webb presented an overview of the waste in Australia with a specific focus on Gympie.

Australia is the second highest waste producer per person per year. Ms Webb said the average person produces more than 2000kg of waste per year - a number which has doubled over the past 10 years.

"When I shop I can choose something which is recyclable in terms of packaging. Once home and I have consumed what is inside. There's two bins inside, waste/landfill and recycle," Ms Webb said.

"Once I have rinsed it (the product), followed the rules the council requested, I place it in the recycling bin. Once it's full I take it out to the recycling wheelie bin and Cleanaway picks it up."

The garbage trucks vary in capacity. Landfill trucks compact their contents. Gympie's two recycling trucks are white and do not compact their contents and carry 250-300 wheelie bins.

"Waste/landfill trucks carry around 800 wheelie bins worth of garbage," Ms Webb said.

The landfill truck takes the garbage to landfill to be buried in the ground (in compliance with the EHP regulations) in an elaborate, expensive process. …

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