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New year, new way to approach recycling, waste

31 January, 2023

As Gunnedah Shire eases into a new year, it’s the ideal time to remind residents about correct recycling practices and ways to reduce waste and improve recycling at home, in the workplace, at school and in our community.

In May 2022, Gunnedah Shire Council inspected recycling bins across the Shire to assist residents in understanding which items could and could not be recycled, and to enable Council to provide targeted waste education and improve the quality of Gunnedah’s recycling.

Inspectors checked the contents of the recycling bins and noted any contaminants (items that did not belong in recycling bins), leaving a tag to inform the household if improvements could be made, and thanking them for using the bin. 

All inspected recycling bins also received a sticker, to remind residents not to place plastic bags, wrappers or packets in the yellow lid recycling bins, as these items get caught in machinery during the sorting process. 

Council’s Manager of Waste Sheridan Cameron said the most common contaminants were soft plastics,­­­­ non-recyclable plastic and tissues. 

“Residents are reminded that these items cannot be recycled in the yellow lid recycling bin, and should instead be placed in the red lid general waste bins for disposal,” Ms Cameron said.

She said the bin inspections were a great way to pass on the message about  recycling to residents.

“The data collected during the bin inspections provided Council with valuable information about how residents use their recycling bin, and allowed educational messaging to target common mistakes and improve residents’ understanding of waste processes,” she said.

“We hope to see residents taking on the feedback, and a resulting increase in the quality of our recycling.”

 Yellow lid recycling bins are for clean paper and cardboard, hard plastic bottles, punnets and containers, glass jars and bottles, aluminium cans and foil, and steel tins.  All other items should be placed in red lid garbage bins to avoid contaminating recyclable materials.

Following the inspections in May, Council promoted the correct use of  recycling bins , the value of start a compost bin or worm farm to divert food scraps from landfill, and encouraged residents to report sightings of illegal dumping. 

Council’s waste educators also visit primary schools throughout the year to teach the students about worm farming, local biodiversity, recycling and littering, and other topics.

“This is a valuable part of Council’s activities and many students are excited to become the waste warriors of their households, which is encouraging to see,” Ms Cameron said.

The next week of excursions is scheduled for May 2023. Contact EnviroCom at for more information.

Residents can keep up to date with the latest waste-related information by following Gunnedah Shire Council on Facebook.

Caption: Gunnedah Shire Council’s Manager of Waste Sheridan Cameron, right, and Mayor Jamie Chaffey, left, speaking to children at Gunnedah Baptist Community Preschool about which items belong in which bins.


For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.