GET RECYCLING: Debbie Moffatt with her regular wheelie bin and her recycling bin. Gympie region households recycled 3500 tonnes of rubbish in the past 12 months, but most of it was sent to Asia because of the low demand for recycled material here in Queensland.
GET RECYCLING: Debbie Moffatt with her regular wheelie bin and her recycling bin. Gympie region households recycled 3500 tonnes of rubbish in the past 12 months, but most of it was sent to Asia because of the low demand for recycled material here in Queensland. Warren Lynam

Education improves recycling results

GYMPIE residents have recycled about 3500 tonnes of material in the past year, most of it paper.

While the number of households that recycle in the region is slowly increasing, the company contracted to collect rubbish in the Gympie region, Transpacific Cleanaway, says the average Australian household is actually producing more and more waste.

In 2010-11 the average home produced 2.2 tonnes of rubbish - almost double the amount 14 years earlier.

In an effort to get more people recycling, Transpacific Cleanaway has been educating Gympie region students.

"On our journey over the past year to help Gympie Regional Council meet its sustainability goals through more household recycling, we partnered up to deliver our Minimisation to the Max program for almost 10,000 students at 18 schools," education co-ordinator Elli Webb said.

The children were told what happens to recyclables.

"We teach the next generation of Queenslanders about the waste management cycle," Ms Webb said.

"Their improved recycling behaviours result in materials that are less contaminated and more likely to be re-used."

Transpacific Cleanaway is a major player in Queensland's recycling industry, with a Materials Recovery Facility at Hervey Bay that processes 15,000 tonnes of recyclables a year.

The company's statewide municipal recycling firepower allows it to collect or process large volumes of recyclables for the domestic and international markets.

Due to supply outstripping domestic demand, most Gympie region (and Queensland) recyclables are sent to Asia. The major recipients are China, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and Malaysia.

Gympie region residents wanting to help the environment should visit http://www.transpacific.com.au/content/what-happens-to-my-recyclables.aspx for a simple explanation about what happens to their recyclables.

GRC this year extended its recycling area to include Curra, Kilkivan, Goomeri and Widgee.

Our effort

In the past 12 months, Gympie residents have recycled about 3500 tonnes of material. Here's the breakdown:

 Mixed paper: 2562 tonnes (73%)

 Glass: 529 tonnes (15%)

 Mixed plastic: 259 tonnes (7%)

 Steel: 90 tonnes (3%)

 Aluminium: 59 tonnes (2%)

Gympie Times


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