Household batteries are a significant source of contamination in landfill due to the chemicals and other materials used, and may also cause tip fires which are very difficult to contain.
Benalla is fortunate to have a number of businesses who are participating in battery recycling; some of these include Vinnies, Aldi, Woolworths and Benalla Windscreens, but you may know of others. Car and truck batteries of course can be taken to the Benalla Recycling and Resource Recovery Centre for disposal.
It’s not difficult to collect used batteries in a small bag for dropping off at one of these locations whenever convenient.
Waste Wise Team
WasteWise has made excellent progress in the months since its inception. The Group includes Wendy Baker, Kay Blore, Michael Hillenaar, Karen Nankervis and Judy Swartzman. We have worked closely with Shannan Cooper, Waste Manager of Benalla Rural City Council who attends our meetings and provides valuable insights into Council policies and practices.
We have reduced landfill in Benalla by encouraging recycling of milk bottle tops, bread tags, medicine blister packs and some soft plastics. We have established connections and continue to work with some Benalla businesses in recycling printer cartridges, old sneakers, reading glasses and hearing aids, and continue to look for other opportunities help reduce our waste to landfill. A number of WasteWise articles have been published in the Benalla Ensign on how to reduce waste to landfill by following simple recycling or reuse tips: these continue to be published as the Ensign sees fit.
An exciting opportunity has been provided by Shannan who has given approval to the Group to modify Benalla’s app “BRCC Waste” with additions and corrections on individual items. This app could become a significant community resource in the future in the ongoing work of reducing our landfill and the economic, ecological and environmental impact from waste in Benalla.
10 May 2023
Aluminium foil is difficult for recyclers to process but should not be placed in the general landfill (red bin) waste unless contaminated.
In Canberra for example the recycling trucks sport a huge sign “No Foil for the Soil”. Aluminium takes 200 to 500 years to break down in the soil. Recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy than making it from raw materials: one tonne of recycled aluminium saves over 6000 litres of oil and up to 10 cubic metres of landfill space.
An easy way to enable more effective recycling of clean foil is to roll flat pieces together into a ball shape. The ball of foil doesn’t need to be enormous; a golf ball size is fine. It’s amazing how few chocolate wrappers or other foil covers are needed to make one golf ball sized foil ball!
Once again, less to go into our red landfill bin and less cost to us ratepayers.
WasteWise Action Group
This week’s tip from BSFG’s WasteWise group deals with those old phones and accessories in the
back of a cupboard or drawer. To dispose of them properly so they can be recycled, simply drop in
to the Post Office and ask for a free self-addressed satchel specially provided for this purpose. Fill up the satchel with your unwanted relics (phones!) and simply post it off – how simple!
This is probably the most queried area as to which items can be recycled. Wastewise is working with Council to clarify what should and should not go into the yellow bin. Over the next weeks we will feature items and hopefully improve our uptake with recycling. Check out the information on the Yellow bin sticker!
If you need a new one for your bin, they are available from the Council Customer Centre in Bridge Street.
Quick fact: Every tonne of recycled paper saves 17 mature trees - very worthwhile!
BSFG WasteWise Benalla Action Group
Old sneakers not good enough for the Op Shops? Don’t throw them in the red bin for landfill. Clean old sneakers can now be recycled to produce safety matting for play areas - just as an example!
WasteWise has been searching Benalla for participants to assist in recycling household products which can be diverted from landfill and effectively reused. You will be pleased to know that you can visit the Sportspower store at 75 Bridge Street Benalla which has a box in the store for recycling CLEAN old sneakers.
Wangaratta has an example of the recycled matting should you be interested to see this product when in Wangaratta.
Sportspower is convenient for Benalla residents, so we encourage anyone with old sneakers needing to be thrown out to recycle them there instead and support a local retailer trying to do the right thing. Other retailers are also joining this movement to reduce landfill, and we will feature them in future articles.
BSFG’s WasteWise group is working with Benalla Rural City Council to reduce the amount of waste transported to landfill in Benalla.
According to Council, the adoption of our organic waste (Green) bins several years ago has seen a huge reduction in the amount of general waste (red bin waste) that goes to Landfill.
The community's rates pay pay directly for Landfill, so reducing our general waste by putting all organic waste in green bins will directly benefit our rates, as well as reducing the land required in the future for waste disposal.
Green bins come with a sticker explaining what can, and cannot, go inside.
If yours has come off, you can get a replacement at the Benalla Rural City Customer Service Centre on Bridge Street. It includes this information:
In just 12 months between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, Benalla’s green bins diverted over 1900 tonnes of organic waste from landfill (BRCC figure) – a fantastic result.
However, we can always improve on this achievement, and every little reduction in general waste helps reduce the total impact of rubbish – including importantly the cost to all of us!
Only around 50% of households are using their green bins, so if more of us use them, the reduction in waste going to landfill will be even moresignificant.
A mini hint is to use a green bag in your paper shredder to get rid of personal papers and it’s easy to add to the organics bin; other paper of course should be recycled in the yellow bin.
BSFG WasteWise Team
*This column by the WasteWise committee appeared in BSFG's column in the Ensign on March 8, 2023.
Everything you put into your landfill bin (the one with the red lid) goes into the landfill at our local transfer station. A plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to breakdown in landfill. Nylon clothes can take 40 years, acrylic clothes can take 200 years.
Let’s look at some ways to keep as much waste as we can out of landfill, using the 5 ‘R’s.
How to refuse to add to landfill:
Cut down on the amount of packaging you buy that will go into landfill.
There are lots of creative ways you can reuse your waste:
When you are shopping, buy things, and their packaging, that can be recycled, whenever you can:
Make use of your organics bin or your home compost:
Waste Wise Benalla Media Release
Article appeared in the Benalla Ensign on Wednesday 15 February 2023
Pausing of soft plastic collection has affected many of us and hopefully made us think hard about what purchasing choices we can make to reduce our soft plastic consumption.
One good thing to come out of this is the establishment of a Soft Plastic Task Force to ensure the ongoing viability of the scheme once it restarts.
It is the lack of purchasing of the end product that has caused this, so please take a look at companies like Replas - Recycled Plastic Products and Plastic Forests Pty Ltd
December 2 2022 (BSFG FB)
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The 'Waste Wise' action group, flagged at the last meeting, held its first meeting on 26 September. Group members Karen Nankervis, Judy Schwartzman and Kay Blore considered items including -
The Group has decided upon a12 month program to focus on one item per month, Ensign and corflutes, for example:
Notes from the minutes of BSFG's September minutes taken by Peter Maddock on 29/9/2022. More information to be posted shortly.
'Waste Wise Benalla'
A new group which builds upon BSFG's concern about single use plastic waste reflected by the Plastic Wise action group. Waste Wise Benalla goes further, drawing from a broader conception of the Circular Economy.
National Recycling Week resources from Cleanaway - useful all year round!
Top One Hundred Single Use Plastic Producers - from Minderoo Foundation
of North East Victoria, and pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.