How much are we recycling in Woollahra?
Published on 16 November 2023
This year’s National Recycling Week (13-19 November 2023) is around the theme ‘What goes around comes around’. It’s an opportunity for us to share some of the great work our community is doing to divert waste from landfill through our green and yellow bins, and highlight the areas where we can improve.
Each week the average Woollahra household generates a combined total of 16.7kg of general waste (red bin), recycling (yellow bin) and food and garden organics (green bin).
This is broken down into:
- 3.9kg of recycling (yellow bin)
- 5.0kg of food and garden organics (green bin)
- 7.8kg of general waste (red bin).
In 2022/2023 we collected 10,358 tonnes of general waste, 5,266 tonnes of recycling and 4,175 tonnes of food and garden organics from households in the Woollahra LGA.
As you can see from the above statistics, Woollahra residents are diverting approximately 49% of household waste from landfill by recycling it via their yellow and green bins.
Diverting nearly half our waste from landfill is a pretty great result, but there is still some room for improvement.
A recent audit showed that on average a further 42% of waste in our red bins could be diverted from landfill if correctly sorted into yellow or green bins. The biggest ticket item is food scraps, which comprise roughly 30% of our red bins, which can be turned into nourishing compost if placed in the green bin.
No plastic bags
We are continuing to see lots of plastic bags contaminating recycling in yellow bins. Plastic bags, and other soft plastics, should never go in your yellow-lid bin as they can't be recycled by our waste processor. When recyclable items are contained in plastic bags, the whole lot gets sent to landfill, undoing all your hard work.
Items should be placed loosely in your yellow bin. Plastic bags, including food wrappers and other soft plastics, go in your red bin.
By taking a minute to correctly bin it we can decrease the amount of waste sent to landfill and recover materials for re-use.
Here’s a refresher about what can go in your yellow and green bins.
Recycling - yellow bins
Place the following items loosely into your recycling bin.
- Plastic bottles/containers (lids on or off)
- Steel and aluminum cans, including empty aerosol cans
- Glass bottles and jars
- Paper and cardboard (including empty pizza boxes)
Make sure all containers are empty, with no food or liquid inside. You can give empty containers a quick rinse, but it’s not essential.
- Plastic bags or soft plastics
- Disposable coffee cups
- Crockery, window/mirror glass and light globes
- Clothing/textiles/plastic plant pots
If you aren’t sure if something can go in your yellow bin, check if it has an Australasian Recycling Label (see example below). If your item doesn’t contain a Recycling Label, you can use www.recyclemate.com.au to check if it’s recyclable or not.
Read more about what can go into your yellow bin.
Food and garden organics recycling – green bin
Reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and create nourishing compost instead by placing your food scraps into your green-lid bin.
We accept all kind of food scraps including fruit and vegetables, meat and bones, pantry food and left overs, egg shells and cheese.
Food scraps can be placed loosely into your green-lid bin, along with garden organics. You can wrap food scraps in newspaper or a compostable bag (must display the AS 4736 certification seedling logo).
You can pick up a free kitchen caddy from our Customer Service Centre to help you separate food scraps from general waste in the kitchen.
Read more about what can go into your green bin.
How to recycle other items
We also offer a range of services to help you recycle and re-use other household items (which can't go into your yellow lid bin). We offer a free e-waste pick up service, book in a collection and we'll collect it from your front kerb.
For other items including bulky cardboard, polystyrene, small metal items like pots/pans/coffee pods, clothes in good condition, e-waste, bicycles, batteries and more you can drop them off at our quarterly Recycle It Saturday events, held in partnership with City of Sydney and Waverley Councils. The next one is coming up on Saturday 25 November, 9am-3pm at Alexandra Canal Depot.
To read more about how to recycle problem waste, read our Re-use and Disposal guide.