About 20 tonnes of mixed plastics was exported from Armidale Regional Council’s waste facilities last week.
Mark Low, Armidale Recycling Services (ARS) Manager, said the export comes at a time when many recycling facilities are struggling to sell their products which shortens the life of landfills and adds significant costs to councils and in turn communities.
“Armidale has an outstanding waste management record. With recently upgraded recycling facilities and a high level of community participation, our recycling figures are exceptional,” said Low.
“Many in the industry are finding it nearly impossible to sell their plastics due to the lack of demand, but product quality and cleanliness is critical to securing deals.
“Separation at the source by our community members means contamination is kept to a minimum. It’s the quality of the final product that has led the facility to securing this contract.”
Sam Coupland, Armidale Regional Council Mayor, said the community is working hard to reduce waste for a good environmental outcome and it’s paying off.
“This 20 tonnes of mixed plastics is evidence of that.”
“This also diverts significant waste from landfill and supports reuse. We proudly boast one of the highest capture rates in Australia currently 97 per cent,” Coupland said.
ARS is contracted to process recycling materials from Armidale Regional Council’s kerbside collection service and the community support in separating recyclables at home is keeping contamination rates low and turning recyclables into sales.
This latest batch includes assorted mix plastics including household containers and bottles and some discontinued wheelie bins. The products have been sold to Queensland-based Impact Recycling for recycling in Australia.
Low also praised the foresight of Armidale Regional Council which introduced the crate system back in 1996. He said the crate system is considered ahead of its time since the collapse of many markets overseas and Australia, because recycling products are sorted by residents at the home before they are co-mingled and crushed.
Armidale Recycling Services has been in operation for 18 years and currently employs 16 employees between Armidale and Guyra. This is owing directly to the crate system as more people are required.
Armidale Council introduced the crate system in 1996. In 2012 it upgraded the service to the public, allowing unlimited crates weekly.
For more information, visit: www.armidaleregional.nsw.gov.au