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Throw a Recycling Tip on the Barbie

Date: 22-Jan-14

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You know what to do with bottles and cans when it comes to recycling at a barbeque. But there are other items that you might be less sure about so we've picked three - meat trays, gas cylinders and plastic bags - to provide you with everything you need to know to recycle right.

Meat trays

Expanded polystyrene meat trays (the soft foam ones) cannot be recycled at home. Due to their light weight and size, these trays behave like paper in the automated sorting process and end up contaminating the paper stream. Even if they could be sorted, they are virtually valueless to the recyclers meaning they add to the cost of recycling.

To get a better idea of how your recycling is sorted once it leaves your house, check out our Sorting Your Recycling video.

Check for polystyrene drop off locations, then contact the recycler to find out if they will accept the quantity you have and if there is any cost.

Gas cylinders

Pressurised gas cylinders, used for barbeques, cannot be disposed of in kerbside collections, garbage trucks or at landfills, as they can explode when compacted. But cylinders can be reused or refurbished many times. When a gas bottle comes to the end of its life, it can be recycled as scrap metal as they are generally manufactured from plate steel. Many manufacturers accept bottles for return and there are swap services where you can exchange gas bottles through a range of retail outlets.

Check for refilling and safe disposal options.

Bread bags and chip packets

Unless your council specifies otherwise (and there are only two in the country), soft plastics like bread bags, plastic shopping bags, ice bags and chip and biscuit packets can cause big problems when placed in co-mingled recycling bins. They get caught in the sorting machinery at recycling centres causing costly breakdowns and delays. Rather than putting those empty bread bags or chip packets in the general waste, you can collect them and, along with your plastic shopping bags, take them to the REDcycle collection bin at participating Coles stores for recycling. From there, they are made into furniture that is donated to schools. What a revolutionary idea!

Visit to find a location in your area.

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