Recycle Right featured in WA Weekender, the lifestyle program showcasing the best of WA. The segments presented by Jessie James, aired on 27 June and 11 July on Channel 7. Watch our segments here.
Jessie: Do you ever think about what actually happens to your rubbish once it leaves your vergeside collection? Or do you want to know more about how you can make a difference to the environment just by placing your rubbish in the right bin?
The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council has a Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale where you can discover it all for yourself. So today I’m meeting with Emma, whose going to take me around this place, to learn more.
The RRRC offers free tours on a daily basis, which takes you around the different facilities and shows you all the ins and outs of the recycling process.
Emma, there is so much going on behind us, where are we?
Emma: We’re in the Waste Composting Facility. This is where the green bins actually come and we sort out all of the things that shouldn’t end up those bins, take them out, load them up into some conveyor belts, they go into these things called digesters and at the other end, we’ve got compost!
Jessie: All this stuff gets turned into compost?
Emma: Sounds crazy I know.
Jessie: How does that work?
Emma: How about we go and have a look.
So here’s the digesters I was telling you about.
Jessie: Wow, they’re huge! You’ve got some pretty innovative machinery here!
Emma: Oh, we certainly do. What this is, is kind of like a giant compost tumbler that you have at home, so these ones are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Rubbish gets loaded in, stays there for three days, so when it comes out the other end you’ve got some good quality compost.
Jessie: Where does it go after that?
Emma: It gets sent to agriculture where new products can be formed. But things like your plastics, glass metal – that shouldn’t be going into your green bin, it needs to go into your yellow-topped bin where it can be recycled.
Jessie: And there it is… high quality compost made out of our rubbish. This is the Materials Recovery Facility where state of the art machines and equipment recover recyclables from the yellow-topped bin. Glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and aluminium get separated and baled and it’s sold to various markets. By reusing these recyclables, it saves energy, resources and greenhouse gases, so it’s really good for the environment – why wouldn’t you?
By recycling right, you too can make a difference to help the environment. Reduce, reuse and recycle are a simple way to rethink the things that you no longer need and make a difference today and a visit to the RRRC Education Centre will show you what you can do. Milk bottles can be recycled into polar fleece jackets. You’re amazing, high five. These guys are so smart. If you’re a school or community group and would like to know more about where your rubbish goes once it leaves the kerb, or basically, how to make a difference – easy, join our free tours. Head to our website to find out more.
Jessie: Most households are already doing a good job recycling. There is always room for improvement, especially when it makes such a difference to our long-suffering environment. When we recycle our waste, instead of littering or putting it into landfill, it takes less natural resources than if it was to produce something new. For example, if we reuse and recycle one aluminium can, 95% less resources are used.
Small changes make a difference, so here are some tips on how you can help. Now all your glass products can go straight into the recycling bin and it doesn’t even matter if it’s broken, because it goes through a crusher and it’s going to end up that way anyway. And just a quick tip, best to take the lids off all your products.
And whatever you do, don’t bag your recycling. When your recycling is bagged, it goes straight into a landfill, no matter how hard to try and keep it apart. Instead, place your items loosely in the recycling bin.
These are just a few quick and easy tips, but if you would like to know more about recycling right and living sustainably, there is this really cool app, so easy to use and it’s great for a smartphone. This app gives some fantastic tips and if you don’t have a smartphone, the Recycle Right website also has plenty more ideas.
You can download the free Recycle Right app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.