Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) has this month seen off its first truckload of compacted polystyrene from its dedicated polystyrene recycling machine.
In total 10.56 tonnes of the material was loaded and transported from the Council operated facility to a specialist recycling plant.
“Polystyrene is used across a wide range of industries,” said Council’s Business Service Coordinator Scott McAllan. “But it’s particularly common in packaging.”
“Because it’s light and breaks into small pieces, it can be easily blown by the wind and can cause serious problems if it gets out into the environment.”
Wingecarribee Shire Council purchased the specialised recycling machine in late 2012 after receiving a $50,000 grant from the NSW State Government.
The purpose-built machine compacts the bulky packaging material at a rate of 40:1 at which it can then be economically transported.
“When you consider we’ve just transferred over ten and half tonnes of the material which has been compacted to a fraction of its original size, you get a sense of how much of the product we had to start with originally,” McAllan said.
The RRC has been accepting clean polystyrene free of charge since taking delivery of the compactor.
“We’d like to thank our residents who have supported this initiative and encourage them to keep bringing their clean polystyrene to us, at no cost, especially in the wake of Christmas,” Mr McAllan added.
“It’s because of their efforts we’ve been able to divert so much of the material from precious landfill.”
All Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) marked with the number 6 within the recycling standards symbol triangle can be submitted. Other polystyrene, such as if it has a wax coating cannot be recycled. All tape and other foreign matter should also be removed.
Business owners or managers producing polystyrene waste are also encouraged to contact the RRC.
Once compacted, recycled polystyrene can be reused in everything from roof tiles to coat hangers and outdoor furniture.
The Resource Recovery Centre is located on Berrima Road, Moss Vale and is open 7am to 3.45pm seven days a week.
For further information visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au or call the Resource Recovery Centre on 4868 0555.