1. Home
Crate system delivers solid recycling outcomes

Crate system delivers solid recycling outcomes

A report aired on ABC TV’s Four Corners program on Monday evening has raised a number of concerns about the waste management industry, in particular the amount of recycling actually being reprocessed into new products and how much is ending up in landfill, either legally or illegally.

Armidale Regional Council would like to reassure residents that the hard work of sorting recycling into the black recycling crates on the kerbside is achieving the desired environmental outcomes and diverting waste from landfill.

Council has for many years adopted a source separation system for kerbside recycling utilising the recycling crates where residents separate paper and cardboard from plastic, metal, and glass containers.  Council, in partnership with Armidale Recycling Services (ARS) has specially developed recycling collection trucks and a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that keeps the two recycling streams separate, minimising glass breakage, right through to final baling of recyclate ready for sale.

Program Leader for Waste Management Dr James Turnell said Council’s recycling strategy has always been to produce well sorted and clean recyclate to maximise the income from the sale of the different products. 

“Council has continued with the black recycling crate system for good reason,” said James Turnell.

“By ensuring recycling product is sorted on the kerbside our residents are contributing to a high quality product that is in demand and has limited contaminates. Our contractor ARS has fully supported this approach to ensure that we can compete with our metro counterparts.”

Council’s MRF is designed and operated to sort recycling into individual categories like HDPE milk and PET soft drink containers which are free of contamination and ideally suited for reprocessing back into their respective products.  ARS also hand sorts glass into coloured and clear streams, which ensures our product is consistently in high demand. 

“We are very confident that our community’s glass is being reprocessed in new glass products and not stockpiled as aired on Four Corners,” said James Turnell.

“Council’s approach to recycling is unique and a process we are proud of.  We have been recognised nationally for best practice in waste management and always ensure we achieve the community’s expectations concerning what happens to their recycling.” 

On average Council’s recycling processes consistently achieves a 96 percent recyclate recovery rate, meaning that for every 100T of recycling collected 4T ends up in Council’s landfill as unsuitable for sale.  Council is confident that our recyclate is being reprocessed into new products.

Last financial year ARS sold 4105 tonnes of recyclate broken down as:

Cardboard/paper – 3009T

Glass – 780T

Plastic PET – 51T

Plastic HDPE – 43T

Plastic (mixed) – 75T

Plastic film (bag the bag) – 59T

Aluminium cans – 30T

Metal cans – 58T

Finally we would like to advise that Council has never sent waste to Queensland and has been focused on constructing a new landfill that will meet the most stringent environmental controls.

Latest stories


pin graphic website council elections
Local Government Elections
Council elections will be held on 9 September 2017
Malpas dam
Why our region needs enhanced water security
Water security and sustainable growth for the Guyra region is a high priority for Armidale Regional Council.
Central Park 1
Armidale’s Central Park on track for heritage listing thanks to $180,000 grant
Armidale Regional Council and the NSW Government approved a $180,399 grant for upgrade works at Armidale's Central Park, that will enable Armidale Regional Council to seek NSW State Heritage Listing for the historic public space.
Landfill optimised
New landfill takes shape
Armidale Regional Council’s $13 million new regional landfill is taking shape with contractors Ertech progressing to schedule, and on budget for completion of major earthworks on the project.
Agrivator at Newling Oval crop
Community to benefit from shared Council equipment
A new soil aerator purchased by Armidale Regional Council will be used to better maintain the region’s sporting fields. At the same time, the purchase will generate economic efficiencies as Council works with others to share equipment.
Garage Sale Trail Young_household_sale sml
Garage Sale Trail returns to Armidale Region
Do you have a store room full of things that ‘might come in handy’ one day but are instead taking up much-needed space? Those things might just come in handy for someone else!
Airport Car Park works IMG_1732
Preliminary airport car park construction works
Armidale Regional Council is commencing preliminary airport construction work to improve airport parking infrastructure.
Better graphic for EHQ long for website
Council seeks community input on possible large scale infrastructure projects
Armidale Regional Council is seeking input to establish a community ‘wish list’ of large scale local infrastructure projects.
Morris St opening optimised
Morris Street named in memory of Sarah Morris
Armidale Regional Council hosted an informal ceremony for the community as it unveiled street signs at the newly named Morris Street – named in memory of Aboriginal Elder Sarah Morris.
alcohol free zone
Alcohol free zones to continue
Armidale Regional Council has resolved to continue the current Alcohol Free Zones within Armidale for a period of four years in accordance with Part 4 of Chapter 16 of the Local Government Act 1993.
Womens sevens Aussie coach with Council staff in action optimised
Council sponsors UNE Lions for national competition
Armidale Regional Council will be a major sponsor of the UNE Lions Women’s Rugby Team after approving sponsorship of $10,000 for the University of New England Women’s Sevens Team for the inaugural Aon National Sevens University Series 2017.