Education key to plan to raise Rocky’s recycling rates

WITHIN a few years, councillor Neil Fisher hopes to see a region of recycling warriors.

And he believes education will be vital to reducing the amount of waste going into landfills in the future.

While there's no doubt Central Queenslanders are attempting to recycle, it seems many still don't understand what items cannot be put in the yellow bins.

"The scary thing is our contamination rate has just skyrocketed in recent times," Cr Fisher said.

Rockhampton started recycling in 1993 with a bag system.

Yellow recycling bins were introduced to Rockhampton in mid-2007, with bins rolling out in other parts of the region after amalgamation.

Cr Fisher said prior to the introduction of the bins, the region had one of the lowest contamination rates in the country at around 13%. The rate now sits at about 23%.

"Sometimes it can be as simple as a whole shipping container of glass contaminated by one china cup," Cr Fisher said.

"I think most people really want to recycle, but… I think it's just getting exactly what we can recycle and separating that from what we can't."

Cr Fisher said he would like to see elected representatives championing the cause, with more frequent visits to schools and community groups.

In December, council's business enterprise committee, chaired by Cr Fisher, reviewed the Draft Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan which will be advertised for community comment.

The committee also moved that consideration be given in the next budget review for a $10,000 increase in funds for educational services.

The committee discussed the implementation of stickers which could be added to every recycling bin, clearly identifying which items were acceptable and unacceptable.

  • Items should be clean of food scraps and dry when put in the bin
  • All lids must be removed from bottles and jars and thrown into general waste

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