Every year we celebrate National Recycling Week to bring focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. Recycling plays an important part in reducing waste going to landfill. Inner West Council continues to recycle and knows that its residents are doing their bit every day to reduce waste. If you want to improve one thing in your recycling habits, focus on those items that often get mistaken as recyclable but aren’t – we call these contaminants. Too many of these contaminants in the yellow bin will create low quality recyclable material that can’t be used to produce new products. Watch this recycling video from our recycling contractor VISY to understand how this works.

Keep these 5 contaminants out of your yellow bin

  1. Plastic bags. Always put your recyclables loose in the yellow bin and place the plastic bag in the red bin or bring it to a soft plastic recycling collection at your supermarket.
  2. Tissues, napkins or kitchen towel. That kind of paper can’t be recycled as the fibres are too short and they need to go into the red bin.
  3. Hard plastic that can break/shatter/snap, e.g. plastic coat hangers, toys, CD cases. These items can’t be recycled and need to go into the red bin.
  4. Any leftover food and liquid in packages and containers need to be removed before the containers go into the yellow bin. Most food can be put into a compost or the red bin. Learn how to compost at one of our workshops.
  5. Clothes and fabrics. If still in usable condition donate to a charity, op shop or give away on an online platform. For companies that collect clothes for recycling check our website or Waste App. Give cleaning rags made out of old clothes a go and if nothing else works place them in the red bin.

If you are still not sure follow the simple mantra ‘if in doubt – leave it out’ or email us rethinkwaste@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

What to do with chemicals and broken electronics

Other important items that can’t go in your recycling bin are chemicals and electronics. They can be dangerous, potentially toxic or contain valuable materials that can be recovered and reused.  During National Recycling Week Council is organising a drop off event for those items. Come and visit our Household Chemicals and E-waste drop off event on Saturday 16 November. If you can’t make that day go to our website to find out where to bring chemicals and e-waste.

Recycling links and resources