Councillor Col Chapman says recycling at public events is just as important as recycling at home.
Councillor Col Chapman says recycling at public events is just as important as recycling at home. Tegan Annett

Gladstone knows it’s waste not, want not says councillor

COLOUR-CODED bins, e-waste services and those who are against a one-household-bin policy have changed the way most Australians perceive recycling.

Planet Ark's National Recycling Week, which runs from November 11-17, highlights the environmental benefits of recycling.

For example, the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste) is growing three times faster than any other type of waste in the country, driven by Australians' addiction to having up-to-date technology.

In 2011-12, an estimated 29 million televisions and computers across Australia reached their end-of-life, with only about 10% of these recycled, but this figure is growing.

A whopping 95-98% of the materials in computers and televisions, including plastics, metals and glass, can be recycled for future use.

Gladstone Regional Council environment portfolio spokesman Cr Col Chapman said Gladstone residents could recycle their e-waste at the Gladstone Transfer Station or the Benaraby Landfill.

"One day they are going to run out of the elements they use to make computers, some of them are in scarce supply, so if we can recycle these items they don't have to find new ways of making the products," Cr Chapman said.

He said people in Gladstone took recycling seriously. He recommended the easiest way to recycle in the home was to have two bins; one for scraps and another for recycling.

"Recycling is important because we have limited resources in life anyway," Cr Chapman said.

"All hard plastics, glass, aluminium, paper and cardboard can be recycled.

"Generally speaking Gladstone households are very good at recycling; we have a low contamination rate, which is around 5-6%."

Cr Chapman said our main issue was people who were less conscious of recycling at large events.

"The hardest time to get people to recycle is at some of the public events like Harbour Festival and the Multicultural Festival," he said.

"They might have a half-eaten hamburger … and they tend to put it all in one bin instead of sorting it out.

"We just need to make people a little more conscious when they go out to public places and events."