The contents of the City of Cockburn’s yellow lid recycling bins are sent to Suez
's recycling facility in Bibra Lake, where the materials are separated and sent away for recycling into new products.
Until recently, many of these materials were sent to China, the world's largest manufacturer. On 1 January 2018, China implemented their 'National Sword Program' which banned the import of 24 types of waste and put in place much stricter standards for contamination levels of materials they would accept. As a result, other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia received an oversupply of material and also stopped accepting imports. This has made recyclable materials harder to sell and has pushed down commodity prices across the world.
As a result of this change, the State Government has established a Waste Taskforce to look at ways to address the issue. Western Australia's three recycling companies have worked together to establish a new, consistent list of items that can be placed in the recycling bin, with the aim of reducing contamination so that materials can still be sold.
All recycling facilities in WA can no longer accept the following items in the yellow-lid recycling bin:
Soft ‘scrunchable’ plastics
Plastic bags, cling wrap, bubble wrap, lolly wrappers, chip packets, cereal bags and other soft, scrunchable plastics get mixed up with bales of paper and cardboard at the recycling facilities, making them hard to sell.
Please take all soft plastics (except cling wrap) to REDcycle
bins in major supermarkets. These will be recycled into park equipment, bollards and other items. The City is one of Western Australia’s biggest buyers of these products as we are committed to ensuring a market for recycled materials. If placed in your general waste bin, these items will be filtered out and sent to landfill.
You can help by purchasing less soft plastic, choosing items with minimal packaging, using reusable bags and contacting producers to request that they minimise unnecessary packaging.
Aerosol cans are hazardous as they generally contain residual flammable liquids, which can cause fires and explosions at the recycling facility. Please take aerosols to Henderson Waste Recovery Park
or the City's Administration Building at 9 Coleville Crescent, Spearwood. They will be sent off for recycling through the City's Hazardous Household Waste program.
Due to contamination of meat trays and the mixture of materials used to make them, they should be placed in your general waste bin. Consider buying your meat from a butcher where purchases are wrapped in paper or try taking your own reusable container.
Polystyrene is light and bulky, making it uneconomical to transport overseas for recycling. Large pieces of polystyrene packaging can be taken to Henderson Waste Recovery Park
for compaction and recycling. Small pieces can be placed in your general waste bin.
The following items can still be placed in your recycling bin:
- Aluminium cans - sent overseas to be made into aluminium sheets and baking trays
- Paper and cardboard (not shredded paper) - sent to paper mills overseas to be made into new cardboard, containers and tissues
- Plastic bottles, tubs and containers - sent to plastic processors overseas to be made into containers, garments and mats
- Steel cans - sent to steel mills overseas to be made into mild steel products and ingots, and
- Glass bottles and jars - crushed and used in WA as road base and construction material
All items should be clean, dry and empty with lids removed. Place all items loose in your recycling bin.
Following recent media, the City’s recycling contractor, SUEZ, has confirmed that recyclable material is only sent to certified, licensed operators that process the material legally and ethically in destination countries. Residents are encouraged to keep recycling as much of their material as possible. For more information on this, please click here.
For more information about what you can put into each of your bins, visit How To Use Your Bins
and select either the two bin or three bin option.
Currently, Perth does not have facilities to recycle most materials but we think this needs to change. The City of Cockburn is searching for solutions, including advocating for a State and Federal government commitment to establish recycling industries in Australia.
The City also has an extensive waste education program
in place, including bin tagging, school talks, tours, workshops and events.