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Recycling on the go

G-Online

Policy

Beverage container recycling bin

Jon Dee puts Oporto's new recycling facilities to the test.

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With nearly half of all beverage containers bought and discarded away from home, the introduction of bottle and can recycling outlets in shopping centres and takeaway outlets is hoped to boost the recovery of recyclable items.

To limit the amount of recyclable waste ending up in landfill, visitors to Westfield Shopping Centres at New South Wales locations, Hurstville, Penrith, Mt Druitt and Warrawong can now make use of specially designed recycling bins located in the food courts.

A partnership between Coca-Cola Amatil, Westfield, Assetlink and Visy, the initiative is still in the trial stages - but if rolled out across all Westfield stores nationally could see up to 600 tonnes of bottles and cans processed for reuse each year.

"In Australia we don't have enough recycling bins in public places," said environmental campaigner and G Magazine editorial advisory board member Jon Dee, who launched the initiative earlier this month.

"As a result, many people are unable to recycle their cans and bottles when they're out and about. Because of this, far too many cans and bottles are ending up in landfill. That's why this move to install recycling bins in places like Westfield is so welcome."

The Westfield food court recycling program comes hot on the heels of another of Coca-Cola Amatil and Visy's trial recycling programs, run in a handful of Sydney's Oporto fast food outlets since May.

The Oporto initiative is expected to see up to seven tonnes of bottles and cans diverted from landfill each month in NSW alone, if rolled out in all the state's stores.

Both feasibility trials will run for three months, with Oporto waste audits so far indicating strong participation rates amongst the public.

It is hoped that both recycling initiatives will help translate Australians' enthusiasm for household recycling into practicing good eco habits while in public places, by providing not only the means but the encouragement to recycle.