While some items can't be tossed in your kerbside recycling bin, that doesn't mean that they can't be recycled altogther. Council provides recycling services for items such as toothbrushes and batteries, to help keep them out of your general waste and utilise them for future manufacturing.
Empty toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers and used toothbrushes can’t be placed in your recycling bin for fortnightly collection, so they contribute to landfill. Council provides a collection point for these items so that they can be recycled into useful products like picnic tables, park benches and playground equipment. According to dental associations, we should be changing our toothbrushes every three to four months. Therefore, our population of 3,000 could potentially divert 12,000 toothbrushes from landfill each year through this program.
You can drop your used toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers in the collection bin at Council offices at 50 Learmonth Street, Queenscliff. Look out for the 'Recycle Your Toothbrushes' sign. Please make sure that toothbrushes are dry, and toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers are completely empty before dropping them in the collection bin. Families with children attending the Queenscliff Kindergarten can also drop these items off for collection there.
Following collection, the materials for recycling are audited to avoid contamination with non-recyclable materials and transported in bulk to a wash plant where they are cleaned and shredded. The shredded materials are heated and broken down further, then compressed for moulding into all sorts of new and useful products.
The process of recycling your toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers is carried out by TerraCycle, an Australian company dedicated to 'eliminating the idea of waste'.
Batteries contain hazardous waste. Even though they can be recycled, 8,000 tonnes of batteries are sent to landfill every year. Council offers a service whereby you can recycle batteries by dropping them into a collection bin.
Any of the following batteries can be recycled:
You can drop off your batteries into any of the collection containers at:
If your child attends a local primary school, they can take their batteries to school and put them into the collection container in the administration centre.
Council collects the used batteries and delivers them to the Geelong Resource Recovery Centre and Transfer Station as part of the 'Detox Your Home' program. The batteries are then sent to licensed recycling facilities for processing.
Some of the materials used to make batteries are non-renewable. They can be broken down for reuse in other products – for example, new batteries – and recycled an indefinite number of times.
TerraCycle is unlike traditional municipal recyclers, as they are focused on a wide range of waste streams that are typically not locally recyclable. This includes the toothbrush recycling program that Council offers, as well as other niche products that can be turned into new materials. Learn more about their recycling process at this page.