How to Sort and Recycle Household Waste More Efficiently

At West Bin, we take pride in our sustainability record. We operate our very own council-approved waste processing facility, which is licensed by the Department of Environment. We’re equipped to ensure that all of the waste we process is sorted and disposed of appropriately. This means that we take care of identifying your recyclables and sending them on to the appropriate facility.

In this sense, we consider ourselves to be on the forefront of WA’s sustainability movement. With our help, local residents and business owners are able to easily and efficiently recycle more of their waste than ever before.

But we also understand that much of the waste generated in Perth and the surrounds won’t be run through our facility. Fortunately, the local government does what it can to make recycling as easy as possible. With that in mind, we’re taking a moment to share a few pro tips on how you can sort and recycle your household waste more efficiently than ever.

How Much of a Difference Does My Recycling Make?

Given the current global sustainability crisis, it’s all too easy to adopt a doom-and-gloom outlook. You’re only one person, after all. What difference could your efforts possibly make?

Whilst certainly true that achieving higher sustainability marks is a group effort, you may be surprised to learn how much of a difference one individual can make. For example, according to plastics manufacturer Curver, there’s enough salvageable plastic in 27 water bottles to manufacture one fleece. And as for bicycles – 670 cans produce enough aluminium for one frame.

If you’re like us, these numbers are encouraging. Imagine the difference a single household could make if they committed to recycling as many cans and bottles as they use.

Rule No. 1: Know Your Bin Colours

A sound recycling strategy begins with thorough sorting. This entails taking a moment to get to know your household waste bins.

There are two main bin types in WA:

Yellow-Topped Bins – Yellow-topped bins are for recycling steel, aluminium, paper, glass, plastic containers and plastic wrap.
Green-Topped Bins – These are for organic food waste, some general household waste and a small amount of garden waste, such as small pruning and grass clippings. This is ultimately converted to compost used by local farmers.

Your in-house sorting strategy should broadly group your household waste into the two categories listed above.

Bin Colours

Rule No. 2: Know How to Properly Prep Your Recyclables

Recyclable containers need to be rinsed before they’re placed in the yellow-top bin. This is for a few reasons. As most recyclables are placed in a single bin, they need to be further sorted by the municipal workers who process them. This sorting takes place by hand, so removing any residue or food waste is a courtesy that those workers will appreciate.

Furthermore, tins and plastic containers that have not been properly drained and rinsed become a contaminant. First, they may rot and generate odours in and around your home. This can also attract pests and vermin. Beyond that, too much residue and non-recyclable waste can contaminate the processing facility as well. Draining and rinsing your containers ensures more efficient sorting and recycling across the spectrum.

Rule No. 3: Learn How to Recycle and Dispose of Other Waste

There are some materials that West Bin is not licensed to handle. Likewise, your local waste-collection service is not equipped to deal with some more hazardous waste – even though it could still be recycled. That makes it all the more important to familiarise yourself with how to deal with these fringe items.

Paint is a good example. This hazardous material cannot be placed in our skip bins, nor can it be placed in a green- or yellow-topped bin. Even so, latex paint is recyclable. Armed with this knowledge, you can probably find a local facility that accepts latex paint – giving you another opportunity to boost your sustainability efforts.

Visit WA’s ‘Recycle Right’ page for an A to Z of Recycling guide. This guide will help you identify all of the potentially recyclable waste generated by your house, with recommendations on where to send it for processing. And if you’d like to learn more about West Bin’s recycling efforts, have a look at our Waste Recycling page.

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