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Hobart City Council 14 Feb 2020
Recycling banks uncover hidden value

Published on 14 February 2020

Prosthetic limbs made from discarded bottle tops and the recovery of silver from old x-rays are among the products of a new recycling partnership in Hobart.

The City of Hobart and TasTAFE have joined forces to provide more opportunities for the community to recover the hidden value of difficult-to-recycle items that might otherwise end up in landfill.

As part of the City’s efforts towards achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030, a recycling unit was established at its Elizabeth Street Council Centre in late 2018.

The service has now expanded into seven other locations, including TasTAFE’s Campbell Street campus.

“The units accept a range of items at the end of their useful life, including toothbrushes, lightbulbs and x-rays,” Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said. “Many people don’t realise that these items can be recycled.

TasTAFE CEO Jenny Dodd said TasTAFE was pleased to host a recycling unit in the foyer of its Campbell Street Campus.

“Having the unit on campus has really encouraged our students and staff to think more carefully about their environmental footprint,” she said. 

“Our students and staff have really embraced the concept, not only recycling items they use while on campus, but also bringing in waste from home for recycling.

“We also encourage members of the public to use the unit, which is conveniently located just inside the main foyer of our campus at 75 Campbell Street.”

The recycling bank accepts 11 different streams of recyclable waste. This includes plastic bottle tops, which are recycled into prosthetic limbs for people in developing countries.

Cr Reynolds said the unit at the Council Centre has already been a resounding success.

“More than 19,000 mail satchels, beauty, and dental products have been collected for recycling, along with 9600kg other items including batteries, light globes, x-rays and e-waste,” she said.

“The items collected through these recycling banks would otherwise go to landfill. “But many items have a hidden value. For example, silver can be salvaged from x-rays and the plastic recovered for reprocessing.

“We’re thrilled that TasTAFE and the other recycling unit hosts are helping to make recycling more accessible to the community and to keep these valuable resources out of landfill.”

The City of Hobart has also supplied recycling units to the Sustainable Learning Centre at Mount Nelson, UTAS Sandy Bay Campus, New Town High School, Calvary and St John’s hospitals, and the City’s Bushlands Depot.

The following items can be disposed of at the TasTAFE campus:

light globes toner cartridges batteries plastic bottle tops mail satchels x-rays mobile phones toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes bread tags air-fresheners and refills small e-waste items

 The recycling bank units at TasTAFE, Mount Nelson, UTAS and the City of Hobart Council Centre are publicly accessible.