Residents urged to step up recycling effort

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times

Augusta-Margaret River Shire residents need to separate their recycling to ensure waste is not going to landfill, with the WA Government’s upcoming plastic bag ban also likely to complicate householders’ efforts.

Waste education officer Jackie Dickson said the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River aimed to help residents become better recyclers.

“Recyclable material should always be placed loose into the wheelie bin,” Ms Dickson said.

“This is because if it is bagged, the materials can’t be sorted. The initial sort(ing) at a materials recovery facility is done by hand, and opening bags is time-consuming and can be unsafe for the workers. There is also the mystery of what is actually in the bag, so they do not get opened in case they are filled with hazardous waste or other contaminated waste streams.”

Householders who failed to separate items were given a stark warning.

“As a rule of thumb, bagged recycling will almost always be sent to landfill,” Ms Dickson said.

Residents were also warned single-use plastic bags could also clog machinery, which was a factor to consider as WA moved towards banning them.

The Shire has increased its focus on efficient waste management in recent years amid warnings about costs becoming unsustainable.

The Shire website has a brochure on recycling for residents seeking more information about what can go into yellow bins.

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