Recycle Right at Parties

Corks collected for recycling. © Amy Nancarrow

Corks collected for recycling.

One of the easiest things that we can do to reduce our environmental impact during this time of celebration is to ensure that we are putting the right things into our home recycling bins. In recycling right, we ensure the recycling process runs at maximum efficiency and has the greatest environmental benefit in terms of water and energy savings, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Corks

  • With corks popping all over the place at this time of year it's important to remember to recycle them! Wine and champagne corks are collected from various drop off points across Australia by community groups such as Guides Australia and Friends of the Zoo in Melbourne. These groups sell the corks to a recycler to raise funds for their initiatives and programs. The corks are sent to Logic Australia where they are recycled and used to manufacture products such as floor tiles, horse-float mats, boat decking, kindergarten flooring, and inners for hockey and cricket balls.
  • If you're out at a party you can also do your bit by collecting discarded corks and bringing them home with you for recycling.

Glass bottles and jars

  • Glass jars and bottles are the only types of glass that can be recycled through your home recycling. That means that all of your champagne, beer and wine bottles, along with your empty jars of chutney, cranberry sauce or dip, should all go into your home recycling bin. Remember to remove the lids first!
  • Heat strengthened glass and Pyrex - including drinking glasses, oven dishes and other glassware, cannot be recycled as they melt at a different temperature to bottles and glass jars. Just 5 milligrams of the wrong type of glass can contaminate an entire tonne of recyclable glass, so make sure you are only putting glass jars and bottles into your home recycling.

Your recycling bin

  • Don't be tempted to put recyclables in a plastic bag and then into your home recycling bin. Everything that arrives at a recycling facility in a plastic bag goes straight to landfill because plastic bags contaminate the recycling process. They get caught in recycling machinery and the recycling workers don't have time to open them.
  • Keep food scraps and garden waste out of your recycling bin! Food waste should be composted or put in a worm-farm.

Plastic bags

  • Keep plastic bags out of your home recycling, drop them into a plastic bag collection bin at major supermarkets for recycling.

Other items and excess recycling

  • Many other items like aluminium cans, steel cans, cartons, plastic bottles and containers, and paper decorations can be recycled from your events and parties. Check out Recycling Info pages for more information on how to recycle these items.
  • If you have excess container and packaging recycling that doesn't fit into your recycling bin at home or at your holiday accommodation, contact your local council and drop off the recycling at the local waste management centre. Visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au or call the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712 to find council contact details and drop-off locations.
  • There are a large range of items that can be recycled from corks to computers, bottles to batteries, or food waste to furniture. For local area recycling services for all types of materials please visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au or call the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712.

More eco-ideas

For other green tips over the festive season, download the Festive Green Guide as a pdf or podcast below.

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