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):
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:
- Coffee cups: the lid belongs in the yellow recycling bin, and the cup in the red landfill bin.
- Organics: fruits, veggies, meat, rice, tea bags and other things you eat can go straight into the green organics bin.
- Takeaway containers: after emptying your food leftovers into the organics bin, you can recycle the cardboard container.
- Soft plastics (for example, plastic wrap, food packets that you can scrunch): for now, these belong in the landfill bin and not recycling (but watch this space for future improvements!). We encourage you to take them with you and drop them off at RedCycle soft plastics collection points at your local supermarket.
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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