Waste not, want not

By Deborah Jones

It all started with an idle conversation with a neighbour about waste collection and recycling. I went digging, just to make sure I was up to date with our very own WWW (or WWWWW): the what, when and why of waste collection on the Western Foreshores.

It goes without saying that recycling is a vitally important issue. As Western Foreshores residents know, waste is collected twice a week. As is recyclable material. Scotland Island readers need to note that their recyclables are collected on Mondays only. For those on the Western Foreshores recyclables are collected alongside general waste on both Mondays and Fridays.

Alongside is the operative word. Anything mixed in with general waste can’t be recycled. Recyclable containers such as clean glass jars and bottles, plastic containers, cans and milk cartons need to be in a separate bin. Best practice would be to put your paper and cardboard into yet another separate bin, but Tony Walmsley, who is the Manager, Waste Services, at Northern Beaches Council, tells me if you have only one recycling bin, the guys on the barge should sort your recycling into the paper and containers bins on the barge (you can tell them by their different coloured lids).

Essential service underway in the bays. Photo by Sara Nimmo

There’s a reason why paper and cardboard need to be separated out – even though today’s whizz-bang sorting machines can deal with bottles, plastic containers and paper products together.

Here in the Northern Beaches Council area paper and cardboard are dealt with in a different manner to the rest of the recycling.

The process goes like this, Tony tells me. The barges that service the Western Foreshores offload general waste and recyclables at Cargo Wharf at Church Point, where it is collected by URM and put into separate trucks for each waste type. All recycling initially goes to Kimbriki, but paper products are transported there separately from the rest of the recycling. From Kimbriki the paper and cardboard go to manufacturers such as Visy for recycling into new paper and cardboard products. The other containers go to IQRenew for sorting.

The video below shows you how IQRenew works – it’s fascinating! – but do keep in mind that NBC does not send its paper and cardboard there. Tony tells me that Northern Beaches material is put on the conveyor separately and bypasses the paper sorting section. “This makes the process quicker and cheaper which reflects in our costs and in our Domestic Waste Management Charge on rates notice,” he says.


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