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Central Coast Residents Invited to Bag a Spot in Home-Based Soft Plastics Recycling Trial

By Central Coast Council
Posted: 8 Sep 2020
Central Coast residents looking to take their recycling to the next level are invited to participate in a new soft plastics recycling trial by Central Coast Council in partnership with recycler iQ Renew, and their partner Nestlé.

The new trial aims to reduce the amount of soft plastics going to landfill and its impact on the environment by enabling residents to recycle soft plastics using their yellow recycling bins. Participation in the trial is limited and households are encouraged to register online by 30 September 2020.

Volunteer households will be asked to follow simple steps for recycling soft plastics and provide feedback which will be used to refine the service for its potential roll out across the Central Coast.

The first 2,000 residents to register will be part of the trial, which has a cute bilby called "Curby" as its mascot. Bilbies are one of Australia's most threatened species due to environmental damage. The Curby solution being trialled has been developed by Australian company CurbCycle and has been contracted by iQ Renew for the Central Coast trial.

Council's Director Roads Transport and Drainage Boris Bolgoff said Council is excited to be piloting new ways to recover soft plastics, using existing services and facilities at no additional cost.

"Right now more than half of Central Coast residents' household waste is sent to landfill, with soft plastics being common due to difficulties in separating it from other types of waste and recyclables and limited markets for the product," Mr Bolgoff said.

"Soft plastics not only pollute our land but they also cause significant damage to our environment and marine life - which is something as Coasties we value immensely.

"With improvements in technology, soft plastics are now becoming a recyclable resource and their negative environmental impacts can be avoided." 

Central Coast Mayor Lisa Matthews said Council was pleased to be leading a soft plastic recycling trial that may help shape the future of soft plastic recycling nationally.

"This initiative will give the community an opportunity to participate in, and provide feedback on, whether this option is something we want to pursue moving forward," Mayor Matthews said.

"We are proud that 87% of our community think it is very important to reduce the amount of waste that households generate and dispose. We are also proud to be able to actively find opportunities that help our community do this."

If the trial is successful, Council will look to roll it out to all households across the Central Coast as part of our everyday waste collection service.

iQ Renew CEO Danial Gallagher commended Coast residents for their commitment to recycling.

"We know residents of the Central Coast are committed recyclers, and so we are delighted to be able to offer the Curby trial here. By getting involved in the Curby trial, residents of the Central Coast will demonstrate that preventing soft plastic going to landfill is not only possible, but simple and highly achievable."

"What we learn from this Curby trial will help CurbCycle offer this soft plastic recovery solution to more Councils around Australia. Participants in the trial can feel great knowing that they will not only be helping prevent their soft plastic from going to landfill, but will also be helping to shape the future of soft plastic recycling nationally."

Nestlé Australia CEO Sandra Martinez said Australians are enthusiastic about recycling, and want to recycle effectively, but that soft plastics recycling is an area that needs more focus.

"We want to help find sustainable paths to recycle soft plastic packaging that divert it from landfill to use it as a resource. This needs a shared vision and collaboration from everyone involved, from those making recyclable packaging, to residents, waste collectors and recyclers, and those wanting to use recycled materials," Ms Martinez said.

"We look forward to what we learn from this trial taking us closer to our vision for Australia to have a waste free future."

How to participate

Residents who opt into the trial will receive a pack of bright yellow soft recycled content plastic Curby bags which can be filled with clean soft plastic items such as plastic food wrappers, plastic bags, cling wrap or any plastic soft enough to be 'scrunched'.

Residents will then be asked to tie the full bags, secure with a Curby tag and place them in their yellow-lidded recycling bin as part of their normal household recyclables collection. The bags will then be separated from the general recycling at iQ Renew's Somersby Material Recovery Facility before reprocessing and reuse.

 
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