How outback recyclers do their part without kerbside collection - Planet Ark Recycling Near You News

How outback recyclers do their part without kerbside collection

January 7, 2020

Josh Cole

If the last-minute trip to the wheelie bin on bin night seems like a pain, spare a thought for Australians living in remote communities who may need to turn it into a road trip. 

Broken Hill is a unique city in many ways; such as its famous mineral lodes, record heat and the fact that despite a population of over 17,000 it has no kerbside recycling service. 

Plans for recycling bins at homes are stalled due to the high cost of implementation, meaning that locals need to put in a bit more work if they want to keep resources in circulation and out of landfill. 

The ABC covered this challenge, and found that locals who want to recycle have to make at least two stops on their journey. Bottles go to the local glass yard, while other recyclables must be brought to and sorted at the local tip by residents. 

A much smaller settlement is Wilcannia, whose residents needed to make the 200km drive to Broken Hill to recycle containers until the opening of local recycling facilities.  

A recycling shop which participates in Return and Earn container deposit scheme was established there as part of the Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program, saving a long road trip, reducing litter and giving local children a way to earn money. 

Much like Broken Hill funding is a major obstacle in the way of expanding Wilcannia’s recycling capability, with plans for a local plastics recycling facility next in the town’s plans. 

In the meantime, it’s good to remember that reducing and reusing products where possible is a way to ensure that there’s less recycling to worry about. 


Positive Action 

  • Visit RecyclingNearYou for information about recycling options in your area, no matter how remote.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Josh Cole

Josh comes to Planet Ark after a stint in legal communication and from a background in print journalism. He studied Communications and Media as a mature age student in Wollongong where he re-discovered his love for the natural environment.