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Southern Highlands leads the way with polystyrene recycling

18 December, 2013Posted in: Environment
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Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Centre continues to lead the way in waste minimisation through the recycling of polystyrene.

“In just over a year more than 9000 cubic metres, or almost enough polystyrene to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools, has been compacted ready for use in new products,” Wingecarribee Shire Mayor Councillor Juliet Arkwright said.

The polystyrene has been brought in to Council’s Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) free of charge by local residents.

“Polystyrene is very bulky which means it takes up valuable landfill space if not recycled,” Councillor Arkwright said. “It’s also expensive to transport but now that we can compact it to a rate of 40 to 1, it becomes cost effective and efficient.”

“If people receive gifts packaged in polystyrene over Christmas, we encourage them to bring in the packaging free of charge to the Resource Recovery Centre.”

Wingecarribee Shire Council purchased the purpose built compactor thanks to a $50,000 dollar grant jointly funded by the NSW State Government and the Australian Packaging Covenant.

Member for Goulburn Pru Goward praised the efforts of the local community and Council’s Resource Recovery Centre staff.

“This is a fantastic service that has been very well received in the 12 months since it kicked off,” Ms Goward said.

“I am always pleased to see the positive outcomes achieved through grants such as this,” she added. “We have proven to be a community committed to sustainable practices, which includes recycling and waste minimisation.”

Recycled polystyrene can be reused in everything from roof tiles to coat hangers and outdoor furniture.

Only clear expanded polystyrene – often marked with the triangle recycling symbol and a number 6 inside – can be accepted free of charge for recycling. Other polystyrene, such as if it has a wax coating or is softer, 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 Resource Recovery Centre.

Earlier this year the NSW Environment Protection Authority rated Council’s Resource Recovery Centre at Moss Vale as the best Local Government recycler in the state. The award was published in the June issue of ‘Inside Waste’ and was based on information gathered during the 2010-11 financial year that highlighted Council’s 77.4% recycling percentage rate was as well above the state average of 46.5%.

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.