Soft plastics recycling program is being trialled

Special soft plastics Curby recycling bags

A new recycling project to reduce the amount of soft plastics going to landfill is being trialled by Central Coast Council.

Participation in the trial is limited to 2,000 households, and people who register 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 whole region.

The new recycling program will have a cute bilby called Curby as its mascot, in recognition of the bilby being one of Australia’s most threatened species due to environmental damage.

The Curby recycling solution has been developed by Australian company CurbCycle and has been contracted by iQ Renew, Council’s partner in the soft plastics recycling trial.

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

“More than half of 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,” Bolgoff said.

“Soft plastics not only pollute our land but they also cause significant damage to our environment and marine life, which is something we locals value immensely.

“With improvement in technology, soft plastics are now becoming a recyclable resource and their negative environmental impacts can be avoided,” Bolgoff said.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Council was pleased to be leading a soft plastic recycling trial that might help shape the future of soft plastics 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,” she said.

“We know our residents are committed recyclers so we are delighted to be able to offer the Curby trial here, and by getting involved, we can demonstrate that preventing soft plastics going to landfill is not only possible but simple and highly achievable.”

Residents who opt into the trial will receive a pack of bright yellow 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.

Full bags should be secured with a Curby tag and placed in the yellow-lidded recycling bin as part of the normal household recyclables collection.

The bags will then be separated from general recycling at iQ Renew’s Somersby Material Recovery Facility before reprocessing and reuse.

Registrations for the Curby trial will be taken until September 30 online at curbythebilby.com.au

Council is being partnered in the soft plastics recycling trial by iQ Renew and their partner Nestle.

Sue Murray

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