Five steps to easy recycling | Conscious Living blog

Tess Watson shares her final Conscious Living guest blog, for a more holistic approach to everyday tasks in order to lead a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle.

Well we’ve come to the end of our conscious living journey together, but I hope you have the confidence and want to continue leading a life that has a positive impact on our planet, rather than negative.

National Recycling Week is November 12 to 18 so you may be seeing an influx of information already, but now is the time to stop and take it in.

I know I need to refine how I recycle.

In 2016-2017 Australians consumed a total of 3, 513, 100 tonnes of plastics.

Of that more than 3.5 million tonnes only 293, 900 tonnes was recycled.

As with every change in our conscious living journey, recycling can be easy.



Majority of your household recycling will need to be divided in two, items for REDcycle and items for your curbside recycle bin.

REDcylcle are the bins you see at supermarkets and are for soft plastics such as –

  • Biscuit packets (outer wrapper only)
  • Bread bags (without the tie)
  • Bubble wrap (large sheets cut into A3 size pieces)
  • Cat and dog food pouches (as clean and dry as possible)
  • Cellophane from bunches of flowers (cut into A3 size pieces)
  • Cereal box liners
  • Chip and cracker packets (silver lined)
  • Chocolate and snack bar wrappers
  • Cling Wrap - free of food residue
  • Confectionery bags
  • Dry pet food bags
  • Fresh produce bags
  • Frozen food bags
  • Green bags (Polypropylene Bags)
  • Large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into A3 size pieces)
  • Netting produce bags (any metal clips removed)
  • Plastic Australia Post satchels
  • Rice bags - both plastic and the woven type (if large, cut into A3 size pieces)
  • Squeeze pouches with lid on (e.g. yogurt/baby food)

List sourced:

You will soon be able to identify some soft plastic packaging by the above label as to whether it is suited for REDcycle.

Your curbside recycle bins are for household items only like –

  • Steel and aluminium – cans, tins, aerosols
  • Paper and cardboard – newspaper, glossy magazines, junk mail, egg cartons, boxes, envelopes, milk and fruit cartons
  • Rigid plastic (with recycling symbol) – drink bottles, cleaning containers, chocolate and biscuit trays, personal/cosmetic bottles, and yoghurt, ice cream and butter tubs
  • Cartons – fruits juices, milk, custard and stocks
  • Glass – bottle and jars

Look for these logos on your plastic bottles, cartons and containers.

What not to put in your curbside recycle bin

  • Broken glass/mirrors
  • Polystyrene foam (takeaway containers)
  • Cleaning wipes/wipes

The Port Lincoln City Council noted that people in our community are under the misconception that green garden waste (including plant clippings) can go in your recycling bins.

This is not the case and can cause a big mess for the workers when sorting our recyclables.

Shredded paper causes damage to sorting equipment, but it CAN be recycled if taken to the Resource Recovery Centre in a box or paper bag.



If it can’t be recycled, don’t buy it.

Find an alternative, there is always one.

One habit I have had to change is purchasing corn or tortilla chips that come in what appears to be a better alternative in a brown paper bag, well they can’t be recycled!

There is a film of the inside of these bags that makes them unable to be recycled so they have to go in the bin. What is even worse about these products is that film will not decompose.

This film also appears in some ‘healthy’ frozen food packaging.



Keep your recyclables clean, rinse them as soon as you’re finished with them.

If you put waste in your recycle bin it contaminates the whole load and that load will go into landfill.



Have your recycling bins easily accessible.

You could even have separate containers/bins for REDcycle soft plastics, curbside recyclables, and ‘others’.

If you take your 10c cans and bottles to local recycling depots add another container/bin or use the crates/trays available at these depots.

Make it easy for everyone in your household and easier for when bin day comes around.



Dental Items

Park Terrace Dental (and possibly other dentists) is a recycle collection point for your toothbrushes and other dental items (as pictured above)


At NO cost you can take the following to Port Lincoln Resource Recovery Centre, keep a conscious mind that this option should only be used once your items are at the end of their life –

  • Televisions
  • Fridge
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryers
  • Printers

Printer Cartridges

Keep an eye out for ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ boxes at local business such as Australia Post, stationary stores, electronic and whitegoods stores to correctly recycle –

  • Inkjet
  • Laser and toner cartridges
  • Toner bottles
  • Fusers
  • Drum units

Fluros and Light Globes

Mitre 10 Port Lincoln collects used fluorescent and light globes for safe recycling

Batteries and Mobile Phones

Port Lincoln Council office


Red Cross

If you are a business or have greater amounts of recyclables/waste seek further information through local recycling business or the Port Lincoln Resource Recovery Centre for the appropriate way to dispose of them. This might include -

  • Car parts
  • Fish nets
  • Pallets/timber
  • Cardboard
  • Waste oil
  • Fish waste
  • Large amounts of soft plastic


  • ‘The scrunch test’ – if it scrunches it goes into a REDcycle bin found at supermarkets
  • Do NOT put your recycling in plastic bags, it will be thrown into landfill
  • Buy back products make from recycled materials such as paper towels, toilet paper, paper etc
  • Make sure your recycle bin is out by 6am on your collection day
  • By recycling one plastic bottle can save enough energy to power and computer for 25 minutes
  • Clean aluminium foil and be recycled if it’s scrunched into a ball (at least) the size size of a tennis ball
  • Put clean metal lids from cans and bottles into a can and squash it down
  • Rinse metal lids from glass bottle and jars and put in the curbside recycling either on or loose

The Port Lincoln City Council have been kind enough to ensure the above information is correct, however if you are unsure on any of the information please go to

For more information or contact your local council.