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August 25, 2022 3 min read 1 Comment

Researchers Develop A Waste Sorting Bin…

Welcome back GFZ's. Whether you're reading this on Feel Good Friday or it's the start of your week, we have some happy Earth news to lift those eco spirits!

A group of Aussie legends from the University of Technology Sydney have teamed up with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) to create a waste sorting bin…

We've all heard of the term 'wish-cycling', where you're simply throwing something into the recycle bin in the hope it gets recycled. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Statistics show that only 13% of what we put into our yellow curbside bin actually gets recycled.

But stay with us because it is all about to change…

Meet this sci-fi looking 'Smart bin'; a bin that will help sort waste streams and make sure that what we recycle gets recycled

Happy Earth News

How Does Recycling Get Contaminated?

Did you know that recycling plants' most significant contaminants are still soft plastics? While we all do our very best to avoid plastics, some soft plastics make their way into our homes but they cannot be recycled in your curbside bin. Instead take them to your local Coles or Woolwroths where they can be put into RedCycle collection points.   

Two other most common ways our recycling becomes contaminated is when the wrong items are put into our recycle bins or when recyclable items are dirty (stay tuned for a new solution to your recycling questions below). 

How Do Smart Bins Work?

The Smart bin works with a dash of some of the latest AI technology, a bunch of sensors and online technology that helps it identify objects and materials. Did you like my science-y terminology there? 

Researchers have said these smart bins will be a great implementation for places like shopping centres, schools, cinemas, coffee shops and other public spaces where waste just goes into one! 

"It can simplify the recycling process and improve efficiency for waste classification and sorting." - says Professor Ren Ping Liu, UTS researcher.

Recycle With Us Go For Zero

5 Ways We Can Prevent Recycling Contamination

1. Bring your reusables & replace the waste!

While having therecycling answers is one of our favourite things to share, we also love to share how to stop waste at its source and provide you with accessible and affordable alternatives to single-use items to stop waste at its source. 

For example we love spreading the word on how to recycle shampoo bottles, but are excited to see so many make the swap to azero-waste shampoo bar that will last you months. Reduce over recycle!

2. Download the Recycle Mate app. 

For those of you that may have been following along at home, you'll have seen our recent discovery and partnership with the Recycle Mate App.! 

Recycle Mate is Australia's first FREE community-driven recycling app! It uses photo recognition technology which allows you to photograph or search for a specific item and immediately find out where it can be recycled, repurposed or disposed of, based on your location and available bins near you. Cool right?! In fact, we wrote a blog about it here!

3. Reuse or repurpose

Before walking to the bin, can it be  reused or repurposed? Especially jars! Have you seen our Saver Sleeves, where we repurpose old jars into smoothie and takeaway cups? 

4. Over communicate

One of the best things we can do is use our voices in a kind way to spread the word and our knowledge with others. This also means communicating and reaching out to your council and waste management providers to establish the best way to prepare your recycling according to your provider's needs.

5. Let's keep it clean

Keeping what we recycle free from any food or liquids can be essential to its journey through the recycling process. I know this might sound like an extra step, but by building the habit, it can be easy to incorporate. For example, I wash my recycling when I wash the dishes.

Let's recycle amazingly today for a better tomorrow! 

Do you know of another recycling initiative happening in your area? We'd love to hear from you.! We are recycling nerds, we even recycle our jokes haha! 

In the meantime we think you’ll love our blog about a plastic free fruit sticker alternative… It’s a goodie! 

GFZ Team x

1 Response


December 01, 2022

Love the info!! ❤️ We have recycle smart in our area!! A free monthly service that pick up from my front door for hard to recycle proucts like soft plastics, batteries and electrical waste to name a few (there is an A4 pfd 😊). They even take good condition items to donation places… I have 2 small children and can’t just pop into a place to drop off recycling!! It’s amazing!!

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