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17 May 2022

Think before you throw: how to dispose of waste properly and keep Deakin green

We’re beyond happy to see so many students bringing the buzz back to campus in Trimester 1! But more people on campus inevitably means more waste to dispose of – and unfortunately we’re seeing increased contamination as the wrong rubbish bins are used.

The effects of this are dire – waste management companies accept very little contamination, particularly now that recycling is processed in Australia. So, the contents of any contaminated recycling or organics bin end up at the tip instead of being made into something else or composted.

The same goes for organics – even a tiny number of incorrect items means the whole bin is rejected and food waste instead sits in landfill.

If you’re one of the 92 percent of Australians who believe that recycling is important, and you want to help Deakin achieve our goal of zero waste by 2030, read these hacks for how to dispose of all your waste correctly.

Know where things go

It can be confusing to know how to dispose of your waste, but we’re here to help! The bin system on our campuses makes it easy to understand what goes where – the bright stickers displayed on our bins show you which items should go in that waste stream (click on each image to see a larger version):

Recycling. Only for approved clean recyclables – check your items carefully. Your used items will be sorted and made into new products. Hard plastic (remove lids), metal cans, glass bottles (remove lids), cardboard packaging (non-coated), no coated cardboard, no organics or food. Still not sure? Check the Deakin A–Z Waste List. Landfill. Only for things that can't be recycled. Everything you put in this bin will be sent to a landfill and buried in the earth forever. Things you can't recycle, broken glass and ceramics, single-use cups, paper towel, no e-waste, no recyclables. Still not sure? Check the Deakin A–Z Waste List., Organics: Only for things that you eat or compost. Your organic waste will be commercially composted for use on gardens and farms. Plate scrapings, fruit and veg scraps, paper towel, coffee and teabags, meat and dairy, no plastic or non-organic items. Still not sure? Check the Deakin A–Z Waste List.

Still not sure? Check out our handy A–Z Waste List for a comprehensive guide – you can even scan the QR Code on the bins to access this info. It just takes a moment to think before you throw!

Common campus contaminants

The items most often contaminating Deakin’s waste are found near our cafes. Here’s how to dispose of them correctly:

But the best solution is to avoid waste altogether! We’re working on a plan to cut back single-use items on campus, particularly in our cafes. In the meantime, you can bring a reusable coffee cup for your takeaway drink and your own cutlery to eat lunch. 

Recycling at home

On the home front, there’s many resources available to help you make sense of waste. Cleanaway’s Recycling Hub provides tips and answers to recycling questions, or check out your local council website to find out whether a particular item belongs in the recycling, green or landfill bin.

Thanks for helping us to work towards zero waste, drive the circular economy and reduce our waste-based emissions. If you have questions about or ideas for disposing of waste at Deakin, just email [email protected].

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