RECYCLING WEEK
RECYCLING WEEK

How to tell if you’re using the right bin

BRISBANE residents are being asked to do a scrunch test before putting plastic in kerbside recycling bins.

Recycling experts say soft plastics such as chip and bread bags can be recycled, just not in the council's yellow-lid bins.

If they are put out with the kerbside collection, they can get caught in the machinery used to sort recyclables and end up in landfill.

Planet Planet Ark deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling said soft plastics were among the most cited problem materials for kerbside recycling.

"In landfill they can take countless years to break down and are a waste of valuable materials that can easily be extracted if recycled correctly," she said.

Arthur Taylor, Sylvia Booth and Alex Yang, all 5, are learning the difference between soft and hard plastics as Canossa Kindergarten in Coorparoo. Picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP
Arthur Taylor, Sylvia Booth and Alex Yang, all 5, are learning the difference between soft and hard plastics as Canossa Kindergarten in Coorparoo. Picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP

"Soft plastic put in kerbside bins can also be a bane for the recycling industry, getting caught in machinery and needing to be separated only to end up in landfill.

"The good news is that while only a few councils currently accept soft plastics for recycling, there is a national recycling option for it in the form of REDcycle bins at Woolworths and Coles nationwide."

Ahead of National Recycling week that starts today, Katie Irwin from @wastenotcollective recommends residents do a scrunch test.

"If a plastic item can be scrunched into a ball, it should be suitable for soft-plastic recycling," she says.

"If it cannot be scrunched into a ball it should be suitable for kerbside recycling."

Other items going into the recycling bins that shouldn't be are single use cutlery including chopsticks, bamboo and wooden cutlery and broken drinking glasses.

If you are not sure Brisbane City Council's Bin app, lists what can and cannot be recycled.