Yesterday I decided to embark on a mission to find the truth about what gets Recycled and what doesn’t here in my community in the city of Perth, Western Australia. The anxiety of not knowing has been building up. I need to see what happens to the content of the yellow bin with my own eyes. Once it leaves my house, where does it goes? Does everything in there really get recycled?
I have a feeling that I will not be satisfied until I know where I actually stand in this plastic matter. I can’ t fight for a cause I don’t fully understand.
My search for information is through Google, and I find it really hard to find accurate reliable facts about this recycle issue. I am particularly interested in knowing if straws, plastic bottle tops, and take away coffee cup lids are recycled and obviously Plastic Bags. But I know what happens to these. I have seen it with my own eyes, landfills filled with them. It is a painful sight! Just today I receive this link Tips on Recycling plastic # 6, It says how it is rarely done, because it’s not a good business! So I rush to see the number of those coffee lids and yes they are #6.
The Recycling Facility of the City of Stirling
I decided to start by visiting the closest Recycling Facility of the City of Stirling. I had passed by it many times and was really curious to know what was in there, and if this was the place they brought my yellow bin. I was surprised! This facility has two areas. One is where they collect all sorts of recycling materials, glass, card boards, clothes, furniture, building, and plastic, mainly stuff than can still be used. The companies who do the actual recycling come here also but it’s mainly for regular people to bring their extra waste. And for other like me who are out to buy that waste. The other area is a proper landfill, where people take their garbage, like garden, building debris, etc. and dump them there. This Recycling Centers does not receive my yellow Bin.
In many ways it felt like I was in Garbage Heaven! So many things to Up-Cycle! I could seriously go nuts in a place like this!
I only allowed myself to buy two hanging closet, made with a cool nylon material, that will look great for the linings of my bags. I paid 4$ to the guy in charge of pricing, which I complain about, considering it expensive. Considering the piles and piles of stuff they had.
I went ahead and told him my garbage dilemma. He listened to me with his cute Aussie smile, typical of Australian hotties, which he was. This guy says to me “ahhh don’t worry, they get recycled. ” I thought that his response was kind of funny! Was I suppose to go home and just assumed that he was right? He didn’t know the name of the company that collects their plastic, and did not have any other relevant information.
I felt like a detective from the movies. I know its ridiculous, but I thought it was pretty fun and adventurous! He told me that his boss was the person who could answer my questions and that he was the one on the Bulldozer! I was a bit afraid to get close to the big truck and staring waving to get his attention. When he noticed me, he turned the big machine off so that I could get close to ask my questions. From his bulldozer, at first kind of suspiciously, and then in a very friendly tone gave me the info that I needed. He told me the names of the two biggest companies here in Perth that do the actual recollecting and recycling. He asked me why I wanted to know and I explained how I was an artist whose medium was plastic and that I was passionate about re-using it. Therefore I needed to know what end up in landfills and what doesn’t. He then told he was also passionate about recycling and that he had worked there for the past 15 years! I really liked him and could sense his love and dignity for his job! I am grateful for his time and his kindness in pointing me in the right direction for the next part of this investigation.
I also came across this very well written article on recycling by the writer of an Amazing blog My Plastic Free Life here Beth Terry tell it how it is! Reading this article I remembered how I actually already knew this. I had heard many times. But like millions of people out there, I just assumed the every plastic container that has a number on it or the recycling symbol gets recycled. Hey wake up……that’s not the true! Recycling is a Business! So I guess I have to understand the big picture of this business. So that I can make it into my sustainable business! I will keep posting my findings and thought on this issue and they evolve!