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The four councils of Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah are calling on residents to recycle even more. The You can recycle more than you think campaign encourages residents to get their remaining recyclables out of their garbage and into their recycling bins where they can be turned back into new products, reducing greenhouse gases and saving resources.

National Recycling Week, on from 9-15 November, is a great opportunity to get your recycling sorted. One fifth of our garbage bins at home contain material that could be recycled in our blue or yellow recycling bins – 11,270 tonnes of recyclable paper, cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminum buried in landfill every year. 303,940 wheelie bins full of recycling could be saved from landfill each year.

Most of us have a recycling routine that works for us. And we know it inside out – there’s probably not an empty milk bottle or food can anywhere near your garbage bin. In fact Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah residents are some of the best recyclers in NSW. In 2013-14 over 34,000 tonnes of material was recycled from our yellow and blue recycling bins. This is a fantastic effort and one we can be proud of. Job complete! But is it really?

One small room that is often overlooked that has a lot of easily recycled products is our bathrooms. Empty deodorant cans, shave cream and air fresheners, shampoo and conditioner bottles, hair and skin care products in plastic or glass bottles, pump packs of soap, toilet rolls, empty pill and tissue boxes and lots of other bathroom items are recyclable too. It may be the smallest room in the house, but it generates a lot of empty items that could be recycled.

So the next time you squeeze out that last drop of shampoo or open a new box of tissues, have a think about what that bottle or box could become. Your shampoo bottle could be recycled into a hairbrush or a child’s fleece and aerosol can could become a jumbo jet.

Research by Planet Ark found that more than 80% of Australians have garbage bins in their kitchens but only about two thirds (62%) have kitchen recycling bins with only about one fifth (18%) have recycling bins in their bathroom. In all we have twice as manly garbage bins in our homes as recycling bins – despite an estimated three quarters of our household waste being suitable for recycling.

Other rooms that are also overlooked are the laundry, study and garage. Every time we forget to recycle unnecessary waste ends up in our landfills. And that adds up over our life time. By making a few simple changes we can help reduce waste to landfill, save energy, water and raw materials; reduce greenhouse gases and save money for our councils.

Here are a few small changes you can make:

1. Put a recycling bin next to each garbage bin in your home
2. If no room for this, separate your recyclable items from your rubbish before you put it in the garbage
3. Don’t forget to recycle items from your bathroom, laundry and garage
4. Use a tub or basket to transport your recyclables to your wheelie bin instead of plastic bags – recyclables in a plastic bag will not be recycled.
5. Recycle in the garden by composting your food scraps, leaves and garden trimmings – visit kimbriki.com.au to attend a workshop and get you started.
6. When you go shopping, see what an item is made from and packaged in. Try to buy items that have recycled content or that can be recycled. Each person throws away around 200kg of packaging each year.
7. Plastic bags, cling film and plastic wrap cannot be recycled in your home recycling bin – but you can take them back to your supermarket for recycling.
8. Look at ways to reduce your food waste: plan meals, write a shopping list, check use by dates, use leftovers and store food correctly are just a few.
9. Scrape out the food scraps and other contents from containers.
10. Visit your council’s website to find out what is recyclable

For more click on the tabs below.

Recycle More Infographic lr

Below are some items from your bathroom that are generally recyclable.

To check what is recyclable at home in your area visit:





Glass pots and containers
Spray cans and aerosols

Bath foam bottles

Plastic jars for medicines

Trigger spray cleaners

Pump action toothpaste tubes

Tin pots and lids

Squeezy tubes

Shower gel containers


Shampoo bottles

Roll on deodorants

Plastic bottles with pumps

Plastic pots and lids

Plastic packaging

Toilet cleaner bottles

Glass nail polish bottles


Plastic mouthwash bottles


Cardboard packaging


Bleach bottles

Can I recycle pizza delivery boxes?
Friday night’s pizza is long gone, but the cardboard box it came in is still sitting by the bin. It’s made from cardboard, which means it can be recycled, right? Well, yes and no.
Pizza boxes can be recycled in blue bins, but not if they are really soiled with food scraps. While a little bit of melted cheese is fine, leaving old crusts or leftover slices is no good.

Do I have to rinse my containers?
Cleaning out old food from things such as milk bottles, yoghurt and takeaway containers means that your recycling is less likely to become ‘contaminated’ and stops your recycling bin from developing a funky odour.
There’s no need to run them through the dishwasher or give them a huge, thorough wash. Just a quick rinse before you pop them in the yellow bin is fine.

Can I recycle plastic bags from the supermarket?
The plastic bags you get from the supermarket can’t be recycled in your yellow bin as they jam the sorting machines at the recycling plant.
Take your own bags shopping if you can or if you do take plastic bags home with you, remember you can return them to supermarkets for recycling.

What about meat trays? Surely they can be recycled?
Contrary to popular belief, meat trays can’t be recycled. They must go in the red bin, even if they are marked as biodegradable. Meat trays in general, are contaminants in your yellow bin. They prove to be a hazard for the people who manually sort through the recycling because of the potential contamination from the blood leftover in the trays.

Small plastic items and packets
If you have lots of little soy sauce fishies, a bunch of bottle lids or lots of plastic bread ties you want to get rid of, collect them and put inside another plastic container so they can be recycled properly.
These small items often fall through the machinery as things get sorted and processed so it is best to put lots of little things into one larger plastic container.

Polystyrene packaging
Even though it has a recycling symbol on it, polystyrene cannot be recycled through the household yellow bin system. If you’ve just bought a large appliance and have a lot of polystyrene, you can drop it off for free at some facilities to ensure it will be recycled.

Nappies even though they contain some material that could be recycled belong in the red bin as they are a health risk to the people who process our recycling.

Drink ware glass
Drink ware glass melts at a different temperature than normal glass bottles and jars and clogs the machinery. They belong in the red bin.

To check what is recyclable at home in your area visit:





For items not recyclable from home visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au

For information on composting and worm farming visit kimbriki.com.au

• Every year the SHOROC partner councils collect 117,000 tonnes of waste from 109,00 households
• 59,000 tonnes ends up in landfill
• 23,000 tonnes of garden waste becomes garden products
• 19,000 tonnes of paper is recycled saving 250,000 trees
• 16,000 tonnes of plastic glass and metal is recycled into new products
• Our garbage bins contain about 20% recyclables that could be recycled if they were put in the right bin
• Our household waste is forecast to increase by 24% by 2021
• Currently we recycle 54% of our waste – the target is 70% by 2021
• If we could stop 50,000 tonnes going to landfill each year we could eliminate greenhouse gases by 60,000 tonnes – the equivalent to taking 15,500 cars off the road