DEADSET DISGUSTING: Council's pet peeve at recycling depot

Dead animals should be placed in the ...

This poll ended on 06 June 2017.

Current Results

Yellow Bin

29%

Red Bin

4%

Green Bin

5%

Hole in the Backyard

13%

I honestly have no idea

10%

River

36%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

DEAD animals turning up in Clarence Valley's kerbside collection system is creating issues for rubbish sorters.

Pigs, farm animals, pets, kangaroos, possums and rabbits have all turned up in the recycling bin waste delivered to Clarence Valley Council's Grafton Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre.

Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill.
Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill. Caitlan Charles

  In a recent media report, the facility warned customers that contaminated waste ultimately ends up costing householders money due to the reduced value of recycled product forcing the price of recycling to increase.

Clarence Valley Council waste and sustainability service coordinator Ken Wilson told The Daily Examiner that council had a very good kerbside bin collection system, but this particular issue made it hard for the sorters to do their job effectively.

"Our results of land waste conversion to landfill is really great," Mr Wilson said. "But contamination of our recycling services is an ongoing problem.

"Of late we've had a real run of a number of dead animals that have been put into a recycling service. It's happened in the past, but recently it's been a number.

"I think people don't realise we have people who hand sort this material.

Mr Wilson said a lot of 'household' animals were turning up in the sorting line.

"Cats, dogs, a few possums, the odd kangaroo or wallaby," he said.

Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill.
Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill. Caitlan Charles

Mr Wilson said finding a dead animal in the recycling wasn't a pleasant experience for the sorters.

"Depending on how long it's been in the bin, it can be even worse. So they have to be able to clean that up, take it away, and it's not a pleasant process," he said.

"That will certainly contaminate the product, especially the paper side of things.

"The staff are used to dealing with lots of garbage, but dead animals are going over the top and that really is unpleasant for them."

Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill.
Clarence Valley Council waste disposal process at Grafton Regional Landfill. Caitlan Charles

Mr Wilson said they often received hazardous material from the kerbside collection system which has the potential to be dangerous for employees.

"Things like gas bottles and fire extinguishers, which are quite dangerous in the collection trucks and even more dangerous in processing facilities, so they really shouldn't be going into a recycling service," he said.

"Every now and then we will get syringes as well, which is a problem, and bags of rotten garbage."

Mr Wilson said ignorance could not always be used as a sufficient excuse for putting the wrong things in the recycling bin.

"Some recycling items, sometimes it is hard to tell, but a dead animal or a bag of rotten garbage, there is no excuse for that," he said.

At the Grafton Regional Landfill, there is no charge for disposing of batteries, oil, recyclable glass, hazardous household wastes and ewaste.

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