Following on from our last post, here are some more things you can recycle, but might overlook.
Plastic shopping bags are a real problem. Carelessly discarded bags can end up in rivers and the ocean, and represent a major risk to wildlife. Most home recycling collection programs don’t accept plastic bags, but they are easy to recycle. First of all, reuse them until they no longer do their job, then bundle them up and drop them in the bag recycling bin at your nearest major supermarket. Some supermarkets take more than just shopping bags, and also collect a range of plastic packaging, including empty cereal and pasta packets, frozen veg bags and even old “green” bags.
Another problem plastic is expanded polystyrene (polystyrene foam). It is 98% air so there’s a lot of bulk for not much plastic. Fortunately some recycling centres will accept it.
If you have a printer at home it probably chews through a good number of ink or toner cartridges each year. These can be very effectively recycled. Most major retailers of printer cartridges will take back your empties, as will many Australia Post outlets.
At home, cooking oil usually ends up in the household rubbish (please don’t put it down the sink). In larger quantities it is in quite high demand, as it can be filtered and turned into bio-diesel fuel. A lot of restaurants and takeaway food shops will already have contacts that collect their used cooking oil.
Whitegoods contain lots of steel and other metals, all of which can be recycled. Scrap metal merchants may even pay you for your old whitegoods. The same applies to old lawn mowers and other metal items.
If you are upgrading your fridge and live in Victoria you can donate your old one to Phoenix Fridges. If it can be repaired it will be sold through the Brotherhood of St Laurence Community Stores. If not, it will be responsibly recycled. Check for similar schemes in other states.
Tyres are another item that can be recycled. Generally they will be dealt with by the dealer you buy your new tyres from.