We are all familiar with the usual recyclables that most councils collect – paper and cardboard, steel and aluminium cans and plastic bottles – but the possibilities don’t end there.
Here are five types of waste that councils can (and should) be adding to their recycling lists.
1. Lighting waste
Here, the focus is on recycling mercury-containing fluorescent lighting, mainly fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to reduce mercury pollution in the environment. However, other types of lighting such as halogen and incandescent lights and LED lamps can also be recycled.
Whether single use or rechargeable, button or cell, batteries can be recycled to recover toxic components such as cadmium and mercury or valuable materials, including silver. Car batteries contain large amounts of lead, and are also highly recyclable.
With steel cases, aluminium hard drives and circuit boards that contain mercury, lead, gold and more, there are plenty of materials to be recovered from old computers.
4. Mobile phones
Australians are quick to take up new technology but slow to recycle the old. Tens of millions of unused mobile phones are clogging up drawers around Australia, keeping valuable materials out of the economy. Councils can help collect those phones for recycling and put those materials back to work.
5. Mercury-containing products
Some common items of industrial and medical equipment can contain significant amounts of mercury and need to be properly recycled to keep that mercury out of the environment.
Solutions for effective recycling
In the case of specialist types of waste, such as medical and industrial equipment, it may be more appropriate that, rather than take a direct role, councils ensure local businesses are aware of the appropriate disposal and recycling options offered by specialists, such as Ecocycle.
But when it comes to lighting, batteries and e-waste, councils have a direct role to play in providing convenient collection points for these products. In fact, many councils already do so.
For councils yet to get on board with comprehensive mercury and e-waste recycling programs, Ecocycle makes it easy for them to expand their recycling activities. We supply collection solutions of all sizes, from small battery collection buckets and boxes for fluorescent tubes and lamps (ideal for council offices and customer service centres) up to large stillages more suited to council waste transfer stations.
If you are a waste and recycling manager seeking to rev up the recycling initiatives of your council, give us a call on 1300 32 62 92 or fill in the form below, and one of our recycling experts will be happy to design a program to suit your needs.