Lets Talk Rubbish

Where Does Our Recycling Go?

Challenge Recycling is a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) that sorts the recyclable contents of the yellow lid bins from around the Tamworth region.

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Suitable For Sorting

  Lids in but not on 

Empty plastic bottles and containers

Empty Food Containers  

Empty steel, aerosol, aluminium cans and foils

Empty glass bottles and jars from the pantry

Flattened cardboard (including empty pizza boxes)

Paper

Empty milk and juice cartons

Take-away coffee cups and their lids 

Contamination

Food or drink left in containers

household garbage in bags

plastic bags and soft scrunchie plastic of any kind

used nappies

garden hoses

chairs

dead animals

needles / syringes

household batteries

ceramic or porcelain (ie tea cup or plate)

building materials such as metal, wire and wood

e-waste

clothing or shoes

pillows or bedding

10.14% Contamination last month 13.27% Previous month

minimum temperature 7.3 maximum temperature 37.4

Everyday the plant sorts through 45 tonnes of recycling, with 28 tonnes coming from the daily kerbside collection.

On average 15% of the contents in these bins are contaminants, which can result in recyclable materials having to go to landfill.

 

Meet
Jordan

MACHINE OPERATOR

13+

Years

Loves

Time with his daughter & the Broncos

5

Days/week

152,100+

Tonnes Processed

 

PLAY

 

What is Contamination?

 

Contamination in the yellow bin means “something is present that should not be there”

 

As community recycling increases, staff are spending more time removing contamination from the sorting lines. 

Sorting through contaminated recycling potentially exposes them to a number of hazards such as:


ROTTING FOOD


NAPPIES


NEEDLES


DEAD ANIMALS

Meet
AnITA

RECYCLING ASSISTANT

30+

Years

Loves

Shopping and walking her 2 dogs

5

Days/week

351,000+

Tonnes Processed

 

PLAY

Problems caused by contamination

Damage to the machines that help move the recycling to the people sorting by hand such as:



Soft scrunchie plastics get wrapped around parts of machines and jam machines causing the sorting belt to stop until it can be fixed.



Heavy metal objects can cut or go straight through machine belts causing the sorting belt to stop until it can be fixed.



Textiles (ie clothing, bedding etc) can get tangled around the machinery and jam the machines causing the sorting belt to stop until it can be fixed.

Some recyclables can end up in landfill if they are contaminated with food or drink inside. Challenge Recycling staff cannot empty this out during the sorting process.

Food and liquids left in recyclables could damage paper and cardboard to the point they become unable to be recycled and could end up in landfill. 

 

Hazardous items such as used nappies, needles, and dead animals puts Challenge Recycling staff at risk of needle stick injuries and disease.

The plant employs 39 people, 32 of which have a disability and 7 support workers to assist with administration and management.

Staff sort recycling by sight and manually by hand,
they drive forklifts and operate some machinery.

 

Challenge Recycling employees sort clean kerbside recycling from the yellow lidded bins by hand into four lines of recycling:



paper and cardboard



glass



aluminium and steel cans



empty hard food and beverage
container plastics





 

Meet
Nicholas

STOREMAN

15+

Years

Loves

Gaming, Collecting stamps and coins

5

Days/week

175,500+

Tonnes Processed

 

PLAY

How can you help people like Jordon, AnIta & Nicholas with Contamination?

 

You can help reduce the amount of contamination in the yellow lid bin by taking extra care when sorting your rubbish and recycling at home.

Update your knowledge regularly on what can go in the yellow lid bin as things could change from time to time. www.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/letstalkrubbish



Ensure there is no food or drink left in your recyclables



Lids in but lids off!  Take all plastic or glass container lids off and put them loose in your yellow lid bin with the containers



Staff at Challenge Recycling deserve a clean and safe work environment so please put nappies (baby and adult) in the red lid bin and dispose of needles safely in a puncture proof container in one of the free collection bins located around the region. See the councils guide to sharps disposal.

Meet
Victor

OPERATIONS MANAGER

26+

Years

Loves

Horse riding and his Kids

6

Days/week

365,040+

Tonnes Processed

 

PLAY