Published: Tuesday, 13 November 2018 at 12:00:00 AM


The recycling market has experienced uncertainty with China’s ban on imported contaminated recycled waste; which was put into effect on the 1st January 2018 and has led to higher processing costs of recycled waste. The processing costs have been pushed down to the consumer, making reduced recycling contamination a local problem. In order to reduce our recycling costs we need to work together as a community to reduce our kerbside recycling contamination rate of 14%!
Despite a much higher awareness of recycling issues, contamination of kerbside recycling is still a significant issue. Historical levels for contamination around Australia were about 8%, now 14% of kerbside recycling collected in the Shire of Waroona is contaminated, the reasons for this could include:

• Changes to packaging, increase in composite packaging and single use plastics which are not readily recyclable through the kerbside system
• Until recently, less focus on behaviour change and education by State and Local Government
• Changes to markets, meaning material that was once accepted in recycling exports, now isn’t.

Figure 1 shows the content of an average recycling bin. Materials which have more limited markets are mixed paper and mixed plastics.

Figure 1: Average content of a Recycling bin

There are a range of different materials which cause problems when put in a recycling bin, these issues can be because the material affects processing, safety or quality.

What about soft plastics and polystyrene?

Soft plastics & polystyrene are contamination in the kerbside recyclable bin – these materials end up in the baled cardboard and paper bales, previously markets accepted this material but not anymore. Soft plastics are recyclable, like lots of other things, but not through the kerbside system. Other programs such as the REDcycle program can recycle soft plastics at collection points at Coles Pinjarra and most Coles and Woolworth’s stores across WA. Please see the link for more information about REDycle what to REDcycle?.


The Shire of Waroona provides the following recycling services to its local community:

• Kerbside co-mingled recycling 240L bin pick-up once a fortnight;
• Cardboard recycling drop-off at the Buller Road Refuse Disposal Site; and
• Ink Cartridge, Battery and Mobile Phone recycling drop-off at the Community Resource Centre.

Please see the link below for further information about what can go in the kerbside recycling bin.

ABC - What can go in the recycling bin?

Back to All Items