Frequently Asked (Tricky) Questions About Recycling
This page is under revision.
Please visit our ReUse hub for informaiton on what you can do to reduce your impact.
- Battery Recycling Collection Programmes
- Biodegradable Plastic
- Bread Tags
- Child Car Seats
- Christmas Cards
- Coffee Cups
- Coffee Pods
- Computer / Television Recycling Scheme
- Fire Alarms
- Hearing Aid Batteries
- Neoprene (Wetsuit material)
- >Plastic Bumper Bars
- Prosthetic limbs
- Rags / unwearable clothing
- Sharps and needles
- Sodastream cylinder/cannister
Battery Recycling Collection Programmes
Thank you for contacting Planet Ark. We provide recycling resources and information including signage for recycling bins on the following websites:
Unfortunately we do not provide indoor recycling bins. Please visit the below websites for various providers of indoor recycling bins. Please be aware we do not endorse or specifically recommend any of the below websites, these are provided as a courtesy for your information only:
Text books made of paper, and with paper covers can be recycled as normal paper, either in your council bin or through local council waste transfer stations.
If you are looking to donate text books which are in decent conditions, you may want to consider one or a few of the following options:
Aboriginal Literacy Foundation - http://www.aboriginalliteracyfoundation.org/how-you-can-help/make-a-donation/book-donation-guidelines/
About:The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation believes that positive and practical change to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people starts with literacy and numeracy. As a result they greatly appreciate donations of Children’s Books.
Brotherhood Books (Victoria) http://www.brotherhoodbooks.org.au/
About:Brotherhood Books an initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence to encourage the recycling of high quality books and to contribute funds to the Brotherhood’s charitable operations. To donate your book simply drop them off at one off one of the community stores located across Victoria.
Bus of Books - http://busofbooks.com/
About: Bus of Books is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing young people in rural and disadvantaged communities within Australia with resources and programs to read and succeed. Before donating your pre loved books please refer to their guidelines .
To donate your pre loved books simply post them to:
Attn: Bus of Books Community Project
?27 Mars Road, LANE COVE NSW 2066.
Embrace Education -http://www.embrace-education.org
About: Students we work with are often in need of high-school textbooks and study guides. Due to limited storage space, we cannot accept all textbooks which we are offered. Please see our websitefor information about the sorts of books and study guides we are currently accepting. Used Cambridge Checkpoints books are always in high-demand!
If you have any items to donate please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include in the e-mail your name, what items you have to donate, your suburb, and a contact number. All details will be kept entirely confidential.
Modbury Hospital Foundation (South Australia) - http://www.mhfoundation.org.au
About: Books are sold on our regular trading tables to raise funds for the Hospital. Books are sold within our Gift Shop at reduced price, providing resources to Hospital patients and families. To arrange for collection, please contact Modbury Hospital Foundation directly on 08 8161 2626. Or you can drop your books into the Gift Shop at Modbury Hospital.
Cash 4 Cans
For small quantities of Aluminium cans,you can simply place them in your recycling bin provided by your local council for kerbside collection.
Child Car Seats
Planet Ark is not aware of any recyclers who accept Child Car seats in Australia. In general these seats are made up of a composite of materials that are not easy to separate for viable recycling. They also cannot be given to charity or sold secondhand online in case the seat has been structurally damaged in an accident which would mean the seat would no longer meet the Australian safety standard requirement.
Some seats have an inner core of Polystyrene and if this can be separated from the outer material it could be taken to a Polystyrene recycler.
(Have received information from a member of the public that in Basywater VIC a recycler Olima does accept them. They also process polystyrene)
The Cards 4 Planet Ark program ended 5 years ago, as kerbside paper recycling is now widely available across Australia. So all greetings cards can simply go with other cardboard and paper recyclables.
The incredible success of the Cards 4 Planet Ark campaign led to other great initiatives - for example Cartridges 4 Planet Ark & the new Battery Recycling at all Aldi Stores around Australia.
You can find out more about what is and isn't recycled in your local council here:
Thank you for contacting Planet Ark and your efforts to recycle.
Like most items that are technically recyclable there are sometimes limitations in regards to collection and the options available.
The range of take away coffee cups being one of those items.
As a general rule-of-thumb, cups that are:
- Biodegradable paper cups without lining - without plastic lid and after rinsing - can go in a paper or co-mingled recycling bin
- Waxed paper, plastic or polystyrene cups should be placed in a waste bin unless expressly identified - for example:
- Even though the plastic lids have a recycled category number on them, it doesn’t mean that they are accepted by all recycler contractors. It is always best to check with your local council or waste services provider.
If unsure - it is best to place them in a waste bin rather than the recycling one. Incorrect items can contaminate tons of recyclable items, which results in far more ending up in landfill unintentionally.
Planet Ark encourages the message of reduce, re-use and recycle. Keep Cups are an innovative Australian product attempting to address the millions of disposable coffee cups in a stylish way. More information can be found of their website www.keepcup.com
According to their own website they have a recycling program worldwide (including Australia). More details here:
Drop off locations listed here:
Computer / Television Recycling Scheme
According to the The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency:
"The small amount of radioactive material in some smoke alarms is not a risk to health."
"Individual (or small numbers of) smoke alarms can be safely disposed of in domestic rubbish. The amount of radioactive material in each smoke alarm is extremely small. From environmental and public health perspectives, the disposal of individual smoke alarms with domestic rubbish does not represent any risk."
"There are two types of smoke alarm commonly available. One type uses the radiation from a small amount of radioactive material to detect smoke or heat sources. The other type does not contain radioactive material – it uses a photoelectric sensor to detect the change in light level caused by smoke. Due to the small amount of material used and the secure means of its encapsulation, these smoke alarms are completely safe under all normal conditions it may encounter, including during a fire."
However; "When more than ten smoke alarms are collected together for bulk disposal, they must be treated as radioactive waste and the requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council's Code of Practicefor the Near-Surface Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Australia (1992) must be met." Contact ARPNSA for more details.
Fluorescent tubes should NOT be placed in a recycling bin. They are also unsafe to put straight into a rubbish bin, if broken they can be hazardous.
For fluoro light recycling collection boxes:
Hearing Aid Batteries
Unfortunately, laminated glass is technically not recyclable, but if you are able to remove the laminated layer, then there are a number of options, and specifically for VIC, they have the most modern and state-of-the-art facility at Glass Recovery Services (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/15699).
- Campbelltown Recyclers (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/11739) (commercial quantities only)
- If the glass is framed (e.g. a window), please consider the The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/12561)
- Reverse Garbage (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/12516)
- Solo Resource Recovery (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/15929)
Neoprene (Wetsuit material)
Q: Options for recycling rubber (neoprene) wetsuits.
At the moment we don’t have a conclusive solution to offer. The nature of the material, neoprene, of the wetsuits does present its own particular issues.
There is some exploration into speaking with businesses that currently recycle tyres. We are also aware of a program that RipCurl are running overseas - http://ripcurlplanet.com/rip-curl-rubber-the-environment.html.
As I said before, nothing yet confirmed.
Should you find anything in your investigations please let us know and we will try and post the information accordingly.
An update as of 03/08/15 A surfing shop on the Central Coast NSW rang to confirm that based our information provided a year ago, he has now established a good working system through sending them to Molectra (John Dobozy) in QLD. Marcus is interested in generating more interest around this and so happy to talk with anyone interested in being involved.
Thanks for contacting Planet Ark regarding your photographs.
You'll be happy to know that most recyclers who accept x-ray films will also take photographs (both ink printed and the negative ones) and recover the silver, where applicable. The items that don't contain silver will be shredded and turned into plastic scraps and cardboard which is then recycled.
To find your a x-ray recycler in/near your area simply click here.
Plastic Bumper Bars
- First option is to contact the hospital where the limb was attached to see if they have any donation/recycling program.
- If you're in SA, there's Daw Park Repatriation Hospital, Orthotics & Prosthetics Department on 8276 9666 who recycle them.
- Third option is the AOPA (http://www.aopa.org.au) or 1300 668 194
Rags / unwearable clothing
Finding recyclers that accept unwearable clothing for rags can be difficult. We do not have a comprehensive list of sites that accept these items nationwide.
H&M stores will accept any garment or textile in any condition. They have an extensive reuse and recycling programme worldwide and their Austrailan stores are part of the programme. Currently H&M have stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Indooroopilly (Brisbane). Click on the below links for further information:
In VIC, Melbourne Cleaning Cloths accept garments from various charities,they have advised us that they accept unwearable clothing through the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Bags of garments can be dropped off at the Brotherhood stores and they will be taken and sorted at their depot. King Cotton also have charity bins with the Make A Wish Foundation in Westfield shopping centres in Melbourne,
For more information click on the below links:
Brotherhood of St Laurence stores, Melbourne: http://stores.bsl.org.au/our-locations/
VIC: Melbourne Cleaning Cloths (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16669)
VIC: Melbourne King Cotton Australia (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16714)
In NSW, King Cotton have advised us that they have charity bins in most Westfield shopping centres in Sydney (and Melbourne), except Westfield Pitt St Mall in Sydney. Some of these bins will have the King Cotton sign on them or the Make a Wish Foundation. Unwearable garments can be placed in these bins for recycling:
NSW: King Cotton Australia (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16714)
In QLD, the H&M store in Indooroopilly Brisbane will accept unwearable garments:
For all states it is worth asking Charities if they acceptable unwearable garments as they may have a relationship with a clothing/rag recycler.
Allround Recycling (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16716)
Smith's Cleaning Rags (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16671) (accepts nationally as well)
WA: Clean Cloth Cotton Traders (http://businessrecycling.com.au/business/16715)
Sharps and needles
While these are generally not recycled as they are complex mixed materials and hazardous, you can contact SteriHealth who have a dedicated waste management program for health care providers. http://www.sterihealth.com.au/
Thank you for contacting us and your interest in recycling shoes.
The charity organisation called Soles 4 Souls have drop off locations in all states territories and donate the shoes to those in need outside Australia.
Please have a look at their website http://www.soles4souls.com.au/ for details about where you can drop them off or give them a call at 0451 596 386.
Sodastream run an exchange program through their retail stockists to exchange empty gas cylinders.
Find out more: