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Twenty tonnes of recycling sold from Armidale's top crate system

Armidale’s world-class crate recycling system continues to lead the way to secure markets for our plastics, with approximately twenty (20) tonnes of mixed plastics being loaded on to trucks and exported from Council’s waste facilities on Friday 12 May. 

Armidale Recycling Services (ARS) Manager, Mr Mark Low said this large export comes at a time when many recycling facilities are struggling and cannot sell their products shortening the life of landfills that adds significant costs to councils and in turn communities.

“Armidale has an outstanding waste management record. With recently upgraded recycling facilities and a high level of community participation, our recycling figures are exceptional,” said Mr Low.

“Many in the industry are finding it nearly impossible to sell their plastics due to the lack of demand, but product quality and cleanliness is critical to securing deals,” said Mr Low.

“Separation at the source by our community members means contamination is kept to a minimum and it’s the quality of the final product that has led the facility to securing this contract”.  

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland thanks our engaged community who are working hard to reduce waste for a good environmental outcome. 

“The hard work is paying off, “Mayor Coupland said. “We have an engaged community who care about the environment and reducing waste. This twenty tonnes of mixed plastics is evidence of that.” 

“This also diverts significant waste from landfill and supports reuse. We proudly boast one of the highest capture rates in Australia currently 97%,” said the mayor. 

ARS is contracted to process recycling materials from Armidale Regional Council’s kerbside collection service and the community support in separating recyclables at home is keeping contamination rates low and turning recyclables into sales.

This latest batch includes assorted mix plastics including household containers and bottles and some discontinued wheelie bins. The products have been sold to Impact recycling based in Queensland for recycling in Australia.

Mr Low also praised the foresight of Armidale Regional Council who introduced the crate system back in 1996. The crate system is now considered ahead of its time since the collapse of many markets overseas and Australia. This is due to the fact that the separation of our recycling products are sorted by residents at the home before they are co-mingled and crushed. 

Armidale Recycling Services has been in operation for 18 years and currently employs 16 employees between Armidale and Guyra. This is owing directly to the crate system as more people are required. A product that is profitable means that we can keep costs down for ratepayers in this area. 

Armidale Council introduced the crate system in 1996. In 2012 Armidale Council upgraded the service to the public that allowed unlimited crates weekly. The crate system was and remains widely and enthusiastically supported by the community.

Photo: Manager of Regional Waste at ARC, Guada Lado, Mayor of ARC Sam Coupland, Cr Jon Galletly, Josh Keene ARC Armidale Waste Facility and Mark Low of Armidale Recycling Services with one of the trucks leaving on Friday with 20 tonnes of mixed plastics. 

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