The Dirty Dozen

Episode: 7
Title: The Dirty Dozen
Broadcast: 17th October 2015
Presenter: Chris Ferreira

Believe it or not even in the world of waste, not all trash was created equal. When it comes to the rubbish we throw out, there is some stuff that really is public enemy number one. This stuff can clog machines, leak toxins, explode or contaminate perfectly good recyclables rendering them useless.

  • We call them the dirty dozen, we all have them and if we can just make better choices with what we do with these nasties, we can make a huge difference to our recycling and waste streams.
  • The first on the list is our dear old videotapes and they really are a curse as no one wants them anymore and when they break, the film wraps around the machines clogging and slowing the waste stream. So sadly they must go onto the verge for bulk rubbish collection.
  • The same goes for eclectic things like toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes which cause big problems when mixed in recycling bins and so are best put in the green top bin where they can be screened out to go to landfill. Beanbags cause havoc with the machinery so they must go on the verge.
  • Those in the Dirty Dozen that are toxic and can pollute our groundwater like paint, batteries and chemicals must not go anywhere near your bins. You will need to take them to the special household hazard waste section at your tip where they will be properly and safely disposed of. Fuel cans, gas bottles and fire extinguishers can explode so never place them in either of your bins but instead take them to your household hazardous waste section of your tip.
  • The endless stream of broken and worn out kitchen items can be a real handful as some of them can clog the recycling plant equipment. They should be kept back and put outside on your verge junk collection.
  • Finally, we have the dirty nappy and please do not ever put these in the yellow top bin, only green bins. One of these stinky monsters can contaminate a whole shipping container of paper that was ready for export.
  • At the end of the day, we all have a choice to consign otherwise re-useable material to the great hole in the ground or to think before we ditch and recycle right.
  • There are heaps of tips on the Recycle Right website and you can download the free app to make sure you make the right decisions with what to do with your waste. In the end it is up you.

SMRC Recycling - Contact: -1300 556 726