According to Sustainability Victoria, 17% of Victorians contaminate their recycling bins by putting their recycling in plastic bags! When you put recyclables into your recycling bin, please make sure they aren't in a plastic bag.
What are the benefits of recycling?
Plastics: A hard plastics processor will turn the plastics into flakes, wash them and then sort them by colour. The flakes are then sold to plastic manufacturers to become new products, like bottles and containers.
Paper and cardboard: is often processed and turned into new products in the same manufacturing facility. The bales are first pulped in a large vat of water to remove any plastic and glue. Next the inks are removed, then the pulp is dried and ironed under heavy rollers to remove any remaining water, and to flatten it into new paper.
Glass: is crushed and melted into a new product called 'cullet', which is often sent to another plant to remove any contaminants. The clean cullets are then crushed further and melted in a furnace. The molten glass is then poured into moulds to become new jars, bottles and fibreglass. Glass does not degrade through the recycling process, so it can be recycled again and again.
Aluminium: bales are processed at a facility called a smelter, where they are shredded and passed under another magnet to remove any remaining steel. A 'decoater' blasts hot air onto the pieces to remove any paint. They are then melted in a furnace to form a liquid, which is poured into moulds to form blocks called 'ingots'. The ingots are sent to mills where they are flattened into sheets, which are then ready to be turned into new products, such as cans.
Recycled roads in Victoria
Recycled materials like glass, rubber, plastic and concrete are going into building roads across Victoria!
For more information, please visit Sustainability Victoria.