Recycling Myth Busting with Eco Warrior Lottie Dalziel

Recycling Myth Busting with Eco Warrior Lottie Dalziel

From old pots and pans to pumps and sprays here’s an explainer on what you can and can’t recycle at home.

By Lottie Dalziel

Recycling is confusing, overwhelming and difficult. We want to do the right thing but it’s hard to know which bin Do you find yourself scrolling the internet looking for answers to your sustainability-related questions? It was a simple Google search that led me to start Banish over six years ago. I was overwhelmed when hundreds of thousands of results appear but nothing was clear, easy and simple. I’ve made it my life’s mission to make living sustainable easy and now every day I help Aussies with these questions, so many of which are actually about recycling. 

1. Old pots and pans

Scratched, broken and old pots and pans can’t go into your kerbside recycling bin. Firstly, look to regift or donate any old cookware that is still in relatively good condition. If your item is in poor condition check with your local council or scrap recycler for a collection point. The items will be sorted into the different metals and shredded down and in most cases sent to a smelter.

One of my favourite elements of the Blu. range is that their products are made from 100% recycled hard anodised, forged aluminium. The key recycler isn’t the person putting something into the recycling bin or a drop-off location but it is the companies that are purchasing the materials and turning them into new products. 

2. Old ceramic plates and bowls

Again, the best thing to do with old ceramic bowls and plates is to donate those in good condition. If you’ve smashed a plate or it is too chipped for reuse wrap it in something soft and the place it carefully into your landfill bin. 

Fun fact: Japanese people have been repairing old ceramics for years. This method is called kintsugi where broken ceramic pieces are glued back together using a lacquer and the joins are highlighted used gold or silver powder. The concept is demonstrating the beauty of these imperfections rather than hiding them. 

3. Broken and chipped wine glasses

Chipped, cracked and broken glasses need to be wrapped in paper and placed it in your landfill bin too. Wine and drinking glasses are made from a different, thicker type of glass in comparison to wine and beer bottles. Because of this they have a different melting point and can’t go into traditional kerbside recycling bins. 

4. Aluminium foil

Aluminium is what is called inifinately recyclable. This means that every time it is recycled it maintains its quality, in comparison to other materials like plastic which generally speaking can only be recycled 3-4 times. Aluminium foil comes in all different shapes and sizes, the peel from yoghurt and dips, Easter egg wrappers, not to mention when you’re doing a roast! In order for it not to slip through the literal cracks of a recycling machine. Roll small pieces of clean aluminium foil into a large ball about the size of a tennis ball and then it can easily be recycled. 

5. Plastic containers 

When it comes to recycling plastic food containers the biggest differentiator is their use. If it is a one time or single use item made from a clear plastic generally speaking it can be kerbside recycled (every council recycles differently so double check with yours!) Even though reusable plastic food containers are made from plastic similarly to broken drinking glasses they are made from a different type of plastic which kerbside recycling facilities don’t process. 

6. Pumps and sprays

When you’re finished with a cleaning product or hand wash the base of these materials can be kerbside recycled but the pumps and sprays are a little trickier. In most cases these products include two different types of plastic and a metal spring meaning that they are to complicated for your kerbside recycling bin. The good news is we can recycle these at BRAD. BRAD is the Banish Recycling and Disposal program that I started as a way to help Australians recycle hard to recycle household items. In your kitchen it’s things like these nozzles and bottle top lids that we specialise in, full list here.

About the author:

Lottie Dalziel is a sustainability expert and the founder of Banish, one of Australia’s leading education platforms. Her mission is to make living sustainably as easy as possible for all Australians. Follow her journey here.