Richmond Valley Council’s Peter Cotterill checks with garbage truck driver Phil Gwynne how the first week of recycling went in Casino.
Richmond Valley Council’s Peter Cotterill checks with garbage truck driver Phil Gwynne how the first week of recycling went in Casino. Doug Eaton

Green means ‘go recycle’, Casino

CASINO’S green halo was shinning last week after residents offered up 40 tonnes of glass, plastic, cardboard and paper during Richmond Valley Council’s first week of recycling

It is estimated about 90 per cent of Casino’s residents took up the challenge to ‘Go green’, council’s environmental health and regulatory control manager, Peter Cotterill, said.

“That’s a really good level for the first week,” he said.

“When you are introducing a new system you don’t necessarily expect the participation rate to be that high in the first week.”

Casino residents were asked to put out their new yellow-lidded recycling bins with the regular garbage bin for collection for the first time last week, while Lower River residents come on line this week.

Mr Cotterill, who has developed the council’s recycling system, said the roll-out had gone smoothly with a relatively low level of contamination in the recyclables collected.

“In fact it’s gone much better than I ever hoped,” Mr Cotterill said.

The vast majority of Casino people knew what could and could not be put into the recycling bin, he said.

“We have had a few issues with people putting green waste in the recycling bins in the mistaken belief it can be recycled,” he said.

“We’ve also had people putting plastic bags in the recycling bin, with some people putting their recycling in a plastic bag and putting the whole lot in the bin.

“Plastic bags and green waste do not go in the re- cycling bins.

“We’ve also had a few cases where people have put their two bins out and left them too close together.

“We ask people to leave the bins about a metre apart so the mechanical arm on the truck which picks them up can actually get around each bin.”

Those people who have made a mistake this week have been alerted to their transgressions by a big red sticker stuck to their yellow-lidded wheelie bins.

“Anyone getting a red sticker can ring the council’s recycling hotline to find out more,” Mr Cotterill said.

RECYLING FACTS

• Plastic bags, garden waste, ceramics and window glass cannot be recycled.

• Paper, cardboard, magazines, glass bottles and jars, plastic containers such as milk juice and shampoo containers, and aluminium and steel cans can be recycled.

• Recycling one tonne of paper saves 13 trees.

• It requires about three cubic metres of landfill space to dispose of one tonne of paper.

• The energy saving from recycling one glass bottle would operate a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

• Australians produce more than 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, more than 71 kg for every person.



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