Hobsons Bay council will now accept three out of seven plastic codes in kerbside recycling bins, under what it says is an honest and transparent system on what can truly be recycled.
Plastics with the number 5 inside the triangular recycling symbol are now being collected, in addition to codes 1 and 2.
It has been made possible after the council partnered with Australian Paper Recovery to secure an end market for plastic code 5, which may include ice cream, margarine and yoghurt containers. The plastic will be remade into food-grade containers and casing around electric cabling.
Mayor Colleen Gates said since the launch of a four-bin system in February, she realised some residents had been shocked and disappointed to learn that they could no longer recycle plastics numbered 3, 4, 6 and 7 in their yellow bins.
“However, I do think it has been an honest and eye-opening process for people to now have full transparency on which plastics can truly be recycled and re-processed locally in Melbourne,“ she said.
“For years, we’ve all just thrown anything ‘plastic’ into our yellow bins and assumed it was being recycled, with our previous contractor unable to provide clarity on what actually happened to our recycling waste.
“When we launched Recycling 2.0 and our partnership with local contractor APR, we committed that we would only take products in the yellow bin that have genuine local recycling outcomes.”
“We also committed that we were working with APR to continue to identify more local markets to increase the plastics that we can accept over time.”
Plastic code 1, such as bottles, will be recycled into new bottles, while code 2 containers will be remade into bollards, pallets, fence or barrier railing and decking board.