Extending recycling capacity

Article image - Extending recycling capacity Councillor Linda Cooper with the new “Recycle Centre”, located in the Cairns Regional Council customer service centre.

Coffee pods and light globes, toothbrushes and beauty products, household electrical cables and x-rays are among a host of new items Cairns Regional Council, Queensland, will recycle as part of a trial launched in December.

A free drop-off ‘recycle centre’ unit has been established in the council foyer, enabling residents to bring in items that are hard to recycle and not accepted in the fortnightly yellow lid bin collection, which are then sent to specialist recyclers.

The initiative is in response from resident Angela Hoyle who viewed a similar recycling point at the City of Hobart Council and wrote to Councillor Linda Cooper about the possibility of establishing one in Cairns.

Cr Cooper said, “Anything to make the world a greener place gets a tick from me.

“I love it when residents contact me with great ideas they’ve seen elsewhere and they come to fruition.

“I am confident that community will embrace this trial, which will also help Council identify the demand for the recycling of specific items.”

The Recycle Centre has been made of recycled plastic and the size and shape of the individual slots can be easily modified in response to demand.

“As the waste stream changes, we have to be agile and adaptive; what we recycle now will be different to what we recycle in the future.

“More and more items can be recycled today, so we have to adapt and cater to the demands of the public.”

Council’s Waste Manager, Steve Cosatto, said key to the success of the Recycling Centre unit was ensuring that there was no contamination from other goods, which was why sorting and the relative cleanliness of items was important.

“For example, coffee pods need to be put into a plastic bag before they are placed in the recycling centre, and care needs to be taken not to smash light globes.”