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Frequently Asked Questions

#1 What happens to the recyclable material after it is collected?
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All the recyclables collected from households are taken to the Material Recovery Facility at Gateshead. Here, the recyclables are sorted and separated, both by hand and by machine and sent off for reprocessing.

  • Paper is baled and sent to Sydney for reprocessing.
  • Cardboard is sorted and reprocessed in Australia by Amcor / Orora in Sydney.
  • Glass is sorted by size and transported to Melbourne. Most is reprocessed into new food and beverage containers, but can also become part of bricks, tiles, sandpaper, fibreglass, and reflective glass beads used as road markings.
  • Plastics are baled and sent to Malaysia for processing into synthetic clothing, garden furniture, synthetic carpet, building products, new packaging and lots more.
  • Steel cans are baled and sent for reprocessing.  Steel has an infinitive life span and requires no other additives to enable reprocessing and manufacture into new steel products such as new cars, fridges and washing machines, as well as new steel cans
  • Aluminium cans are baled then melted down and made into ingots. These ingots may then be used to manufacture motor vehicle components, kitchen utensils, furniture or building tools, and of course new aluminium cans. 20 aluminium cans can be manufactured from the same amount of energy it takes to manufacture 1 can from raw materials.
  •  Milk and juice cartons (or liquid paperboard (LPB)) are reprocessed into high quality office paper.
#2 Does some of the recyclable material go to landfill?
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NO.  None of the acceptable recyclable material ends up in landfill. This is because we are able to sell all of the material for reprocessing and manufacturing into new products.

#3 Should I remove the labels from drink containers and steel cans?
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Removing labels from cans and bottles is no longer necessary.

#4 Should I wash out containers before putting them in the recycling bin?
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Make sure bottles and containers are empty however it is not necessary to wash or rinse them before placing them in your recycling bin.

#5 Should I place my recyclables inside plastic bags?
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NO.  When they are put in plastic bags they cannot be sorted at the Materials Recovery Facility. Plastic bags, wrap and sheeting are not acceptable in your recycling bin.

#6 Can I recycle car parts, windows and garden waste in my recycling bin?
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NO. Just because an item is made from recyclable material it is not necessarily acceptable in your yellow lid recycling bin. Car parts and large items made from steel and aluminium can be disposed of through your local scrap metal merchant or contact your local council. Check the A-Z guide.

#7 Can I recycle window glass, mirrors, ceramics, Pyrex and glass tumblers or wine glasses in my recycling bin?
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NO. Only glass jars (such as jam jars) and bottles (such as beer bottles or wine bottles) are accepted in your yellow lid bin. All other glass and ceramic products must go in your garbage bin.

#8 If I am unsure whether a product can be recycled, should I put it in the recycling bin anyway?
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NO. Check the A-Z guide on this site or call the Recycling Hotline on 1800 838 884, however, if in doubt, throw it out!

#9 What happens if I put unacceptable items in my recycling bin?
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Video cameras and GPS systems in the trucks enable drivers to identify bins containing non- acceptable product which is electronically recorded on our database in real time. Kerbside bin audits are also conducted to monitor correct use of the service.  Bins containing non- acceptable items may be tagged and not collected until the offending items have been removed and then only on the following service day.