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Tuesday February 16, 2010

Signage to put it in the right bin

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Murdoch University today launched a comprehensive signage system for its recycling, paper, cardboard and waste collection bins across its South Street campus.

The snazzy new signage shows items that can be recycled on campus.

“With campus staff, students and visitors coming from different suburbs and countries where recycling systems can be very different, the new signage should help to make it much easier to put it in the right bin,” Murdoch’s Environmental Program Manager Caroline Minton said.

A waste audit of external bins in September showed high levels of contamination in recycling bins from food waste, and large numbers of recyclables in waste bins were going to landfill.

“It’s believed a lack of understanding of what can be recycled on campus, and what to put in each bin, is responsible for the poor levels of recycling to date,” she said.

“On campus we can recycle a great variety of things that may not be recyclable in people’s own residential area.”

Plastic and glass bottles and jars, aluminium cans and foil, and all kinds of paper and cardboard can all be recycled.

Bottle and jar lids can also be recycled, but lids must be thrown in separately, as can empty paper takeaway coffee cups and plastic lids.

Plastic food containers free of any food scraps are on the recyclable list.

Contaminated recyclables must be thrown in the waste bins so they don’t infect the rest of the recycling.

“Recyclables with 10 per cent contamination go to landfill, so it’s really important to prevent food scraps from being dumped in recycling bins,” she said.

Murdoch spent $180,000 on new dual red and green waste and recycling bins in 2009, and is now adding to that investment with its new signage.

The new signage project has been supported by the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum, who have committed $25,000 for Murdoch to improve beverage container recycling on campus.

Source: Murdoch University

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