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Who hasn’t done a paint job and had some left-over paint in a tin? Keeping for those odd patch-up jobs is a good idea, but if the paint has gone off, you can drop off to your closest Community Recycling Centre. That way, the metal tins will be recycled, and the paint will be mixed with other waste solvents and used as an alternative to fuel in cement kilns.


Batteries contain many materials that cause problems to human health and the environment if they end up in landfill. Please don’t put them in your household bins. Instead, take them to you closest Community Recycling Centre. They will be transported and processed in Australia into component parts for reuse in other products, and even to make new batteries. 95% of the materials are recycled, including steel, copper and aluminium.


Recyclers crush the tubes to separate the phosphor powder from the glass. They feed the powder through receiving containers, where it is filtered to capture fugitive mercury emissions. The mercury is then separated by distillation and sold for a range of industrial uses. The metals are also recycled.


Can explode if placed in household bins. When taken to a CRC for recycling, any residual gas is captured for reuse. Undamaged bottles are retested, restamped and entered into the hire industry. Damaged bottles are punctured and recycled as scrap metal.


Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) cannot be collected in your council recycling service.Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight, rigid cellular plastic that is used widely as a packaging medium for fragile and expensive items such as electronic equipment, chemicals and wines.

  • EPS is comprised of 98% air.
  • EPS is derived from a non-renewable resource – oil.
  • Polystyrene is a type of plastic.Some polystyrene materials such as foam cups, trays or foam packaging are marked with this symbol.
  • This code identifies the type of plastic the product is – not if it can be recycled.
  • People often confuse the ‘plastic identification code’ for the general recycling symbol (mobius loop), which involves three chasing arrows.


Soft plastics, the kind that can be scrunched into a ball, are among the biggest problems in the kerbside recycling system. In fact 8 out of 10 councils consider them the number one problem as they get caught in the recycling machinery.

The good news is these plastics can be recycled at many supermarkets.

This free program is made possible through RedCycle, which has worked with Coles and Woolworths/Safeway Supermarkets to set up collection bins in stores across most metro areas of Australia.

The cost of collecting and processing the material is covered by many of Australia’s best-known manufacturers in a voluntary product stewardship scheme.

The plastic is made into furniture for schools and kindergartens among other things.



Mattresses are one of the most common items sent to landfill. But most components of a mattress can be recycled which diverts these large waste items from landfill. Mattresses in good condition can also be cleaned and donated to charities to help them provide low-cost bedding.

When you pay for your mattress at the Waste Management Centre, you are paying for it to be processed for reuse and recycling. Components are separated and the timber, foam, wadding, springs and some fabrics and other materials can be recycled and used for:

  • woodchip (for particleboard production, animal bedding and mulch)
  • metal is processed for use in buildings and infrastructure, vehicles and appliances.
  • foam, wadding and latex from inside the mattress is recycled into carpet underlay.



Each year in Australia, the equivalent of 48 million tyres reach the end of their life, only 16% of these are domestically recycled. Around two thirds of used tyres in Australia end up in landfill, are stockpiled, illegally dumped or have an unknown fate.

This represents both a waste of resources and creates health and environmental issues. Each passenger car tyre contains approximately 1.5kg of steel, 0.5kg of textiles and 7 kg of rubber.

End-of-life tyres and tyre derived products can be put to productive use in many ways which include:

  • the manufacture of new rubber products such as soft fall surfaces, artificial turf and conveyer belts
  • road construction and surfacing
  • alternative fuel source for producers of energy and cement
  • brake pads and other rubber products


Electrical appliances such as DVD players, facsimile machines, phones, alarm clocks, cameras and radios become electronic waste or e-waste when discarded, which is a growing problem worldwide.

At this stage, Australia does not have a national recycling scheme for electrical appliances as a whole. The existing scheme covers TVs and computers while specific programs exists for mobile phones and printer cartridges.

Electrical appliances are made up of a broad range of materials including precious metals (such as gold and platinum), toxic heavy metals, metal circuitry, mixed plastics, fire retardants and glass. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic as well as flame-retardants can cause environmental contamination through leaching into water systems. By recycling, this contamination can be avoided, and useful resources can be conserved, as up to 95% of materials can be recovered for reuse.

Some companies operate take-back schemes for their electrical products. The costs of these systems are generally built into the price of the product and provide a convenient avenue for electrical appliance recycling.

There are a number of commercial recyclers that offer e-waste recycling services as well as organisations that recycle, refurbish or reuse electrical appliances and accessories.

When recycled, electrical appliances are dismantled and the different components are sorted with many of the materials, including glass, copper, plastics, metals and precious metals, recovered for further processing and eventual use in the manufacture of new products.


Are a significant resource that is easily reused with minimal processing. Please take to your closest CRC for reprocessing. They are used as lubricant or in waste to energy.

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For more information contact info@midwaste.org.au