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Where exactly is your recycled glass going in Central Queensland?

Rockhampton Councillor Neil Fisher with glass fragments which have been recycled and refined to become construction bedding sand. Photo Michelle Gately / Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton Councillor Neil Fisher with glass fragments which have been recycled and refined to become construction bedding sand. Photo Michelle Gately / Morning Bulletin Michelle Gately ROK260216glass3

AFTER Four Corners revealed masses of glass destined for recycling was instead ending up in landfill, Rockhampton Regional Council has been fielding questions about recycling locally.

Councillor Neil Fisher was pleased to see so many people asking questions, concerned about where their recycling was ending up.

But he reassured residents the council took responsibilities in this respect "incredibly seriously".

"We have had a number of queries this week from the community about where local recycling ends up once it's placed it the yellow lid bin, in particular the glass items," he said.

"As a council we spend a lot of time and resources ensuring that the items collected from the yellow lid bins are recycled.

 

This chart shows how glass bottles will become sand in Rockhampton.
This chart shows how glass bottles will become sand in Rockhampton. Morning Bulletin

"We have a Material Recovery Facility right here in Rockhampton which is where all recycling ends up once collected from the kerbside.

"From there, it's sorted into the different types of products such as paper, aluminium, plastics, cans.

"All products except glass are baled and sent to their respective markets or reprocessing plants.

"The glass remains at the MRF site where it's crushed so it can then be used in local construction works.

"It's stored at a facility in Rockhampton until it can be used for such a project."

If sorted correctly, the items placed in Rockhampton's yellow-lidded bins will not end up in landfill.

A joint-venture between five local councils has allowed Rockhampton to part from multi-national companies to recycle and refine sand in Rockhampton which can be used in construction projects.

Glass from the Central Highlands, Gladstone, Isaac, Rockhampton and Livingstone regions is recycled by Kriaris Recyclables Processing.

It is then sent to Rockhampton landscaping supply business Hopkins Brothers to be mixed with alluvial bedding sand.

 

An example of sand made from recycled glass in Rockhampton.
An example of sand made from recycled glass in Rockhampton. Contributed

Cr Fisher said the council was focused on education when it came to which bin to use.

"This means being aware of the items that can be recycled and separating them from the general waste," he said.

"Recyclables should then be cleaned and put it into the yellow lid bin as they are, and not in plastic bags.

"There's no reason after this that they won't be used again and help create something brand new."

The council has set a target of reducing landfill in the region by 15% between now and 2026.

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