Where does my Recycling Go?

Despite recent media around China’s National Sword Policy ban on the acceptance of recyclable material from Australia, Snowy Monaro Regional Council would like to reassure residents that the recyclables collected in all areas of the Snowy Monaro region are being transported and processed at the ReGroup Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Hume, ACT and are NOT going to landfill. 

At this stage Council's kerbside comingled recycling collections have not been impacted by the ban and the community should continue to separate their recyclable material from the general household waste stream. This is also including recycling drop offs at all of Council's Waste Facilities.

One of the major issues that has been highlighted by the changes is that recycling contamination rates are on the rise.  Even though contamination rates here in the Snowy Monaro are lower than some reported by other councils, there is still room for improvement.
The ReGroup Materials Recovery Facility in Hume is one of the best comingled sorting facilities in Australia.
Check out the YouTube video on the ReGroup Material Recovery Facility in Hume, ACT

This is where the Snowy Monaro region's Comingled Recycling goes to be sorted and processed!
One of the highlights of the ReGroup Materials Recovery Facility in Hume is the installation of new optical sorting technology. Using image recognition technology, plastic recyclables pass through a system with high resolution images recorded. These are then checked against a database to correctly identify the plastic with the item then sorted for bailing. The most impressive aspect of this system is its capacity to learn to recognise more items as more packaging is processed.

Another exciting new feature of the facility is the ability to implode glass and transform it into a high quality sand product. Trials are underway which will assist in a variety of civil work projects including road bases and concrete mix, reducing our carbon footprint and creating jobs.
Recycling is a team effort and we need your help!
We're running out of space at our landfills for all of our garbage....
Material Recovery Facilities help keep certain items from going to the landfill!

Check out the YouTube video from Planet Ark Sorting your Recycling

Find out what happens to your recycling after it's collected!
Why do we Recycle?

Recycling is one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment. Natural resources such as wood, fresh water and oil, iron ore and other raw materials are all required to make new packaging that we use and throw out. Making products and packaging from recycled materials uses less of these resources.

The recycling process has many benefits including :

  • Protecting natural habitats by reducing the amount of raw materials being extracted from the environment
  • Reducing the air and water pollution that is generated through the extraction, refinement and processing of raw materials
  • Saving energy used in the extraction, refining, transportation and processing of raw materials into products and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Decreasing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and reducing the need for new waste disposal facilities
To help save precious resources, check that you are recycling as much of your household waste as you can.  Every time you get it right you are making a difference.
Handy hints for what you CAN put in our region's recycling bins:

  • Pizza Boxes can be recycled if you scrape away the food remnants and recycle the empty cardboard box
  • Aluminium is a highly valuable resource and aluminium food trays and foil can be recycled! Simply scrape/remove excess food and scrunch into a ball golf-size or larger
  • Aerosols can be recycled, please ensure they are completely empty and lids removed
  • Paper towels, serviettes, tissues and toilet paper cannot be recycled. The central cardboard roll in toilet paper and foil can be recycled. Cling wrap and soft plastics can be recycled at your local REDcycle collection point. Paper towels and tissues can be disposed of in the Food and Garden Organic bin if available or placed into the general waste bin.
  • Paper and Cardboard all can be recycled, except shredded paper which is too light and flimsy to be sorted correctly and causes litter issues.  Shredded paper can be composted or can be placed into the waste bin.
  • Rigid plastics including plastic drink bottles, milk bottles, rigid plastic containers including fruit punnets, meat trays and biscuit trays are all generally recyclable – look for the recycling triangle and the numbers 1, 2, 3 & 5 which can all go in the recycling bin.
  • Please do not put plastic bags or any soft plastic (like bread bags, lolly bags, plastic wrap) in the comingled recycling. These can be taken to your local REDcycle collection point* for recycling or placed in the general waste bin but cannot go in your kerbside recycling bin
  • Window glass, pyrex dishes, wine glasses (or any pre-heated glass) and crockery are not recyclable and need to be placed in the waste bin.
  • Light globes and Batteries can not be placed in the recycle bin. Batteries and Fluoro lights can be deposited for free at Community Recycling Centres and Council Waste Facilities.
If you require any further information on recycling or other waste avoidance strategies please contact Council’s Resource and Waste Education department. Information sessions can also be arranged for community groups.