The North East Waste Forum and local councils are encouraging people to Recycle Right, to conserve resources, to reduce contamination, to save water, and to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions during National Recycling Week, November 10 to 16.

Recycling was one thing that residents could do to help address climate change, said co-ordinator of the North East Waste Forum, Gordon Fraser-Quick.

Mr Fraser-Quick said the more we recycled, the greater the environmental benefit was because we were not only minimising the output of carbon dioxide – which was the biggest contributor to climate change – but we’re also conserving valuable resources and saving vast amounts of water and energy.

“Last financial year more than 17,000 tonnes of recyclable household waste was recycled in the NEWF region of Byron Shire, Tweed Shire, Ballina Shire, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley and Kyogle Council areas,” he said.

“This amounts to a saving of 8500 tonnes of CO2 being saved from entering into the atmosphere or the equivalent of 2050 cars being permanently removed from our roads; and a water saving of more than 280,000 megalitres or the equivalent of 112 Olympic sized swimming pools.”

Mr Fraser-Quick said recycling bottles, cans, jars and paper at home was a great start, however, to Recycle Right we needed to make sure we’re putting the right things into our home recycling bins.

He said when we put the wrong items in a household recycling bin, we contaminated the entire contents of the bin and reduced the effectiveness of the whole recycling process.

For example, a single plastic bag could shut down an entire material recovery facility if it got caught in its machinery; and just five grams of drinkware glass or Pyrex in a recycling bin could contaminate a tonne of bottle and jar glass because it melted at a different temperature.

“The North East Waste Forum and local councils encourage all residents to address climate change by recycling,” he said.

“When we Recycle Right we minimise contamination, we conserve resources and we reduce our impact on the environment.”

The North East Waste Forum is encouraging all Far North Coast residents to use National Recycling Week as an opportunity to Recycle Right whether it’s putting the right things into your home, work and school recycling bin, recycling clothes and other household goods at your local charity or recycling printer cartridges.

For more information about recycling in your area visit www.recyclingnearyou.com.au