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Two Town initiatives to boost recycling in Hedland

Published on Monday, 15 April 2024 at 2:01:30 PM

Two new Town of Port Hedland initiatives are encouraging residents to reduce waste through recycling.

A pilot program with Containers for Change has delivered 10 new exchange points in South and Port Hedland.

The branded baskets are attached to public general waste bin enclosures, giving people the option to recycle cans and bottles while out and about.

In a separate initiative, the Town has partnered with EcoBatt under the National B-Cycle Battery Recycling Scheme to provide battery recycling bins in Town facilities including the Civic Centre in Port, the Infrastructure Operations Centre in Wedgefield, as well as Port and South Hedland Library and the landfill.

The 20-litre battery bins cater to all types of small lithium-ion batteries including household (AAA, AA, C, D, PP3 and 9V), phone, laptop, and button cells.

All light and heavy lithium-ion industrial batteries including power tools, e-bikes, and e-scooters must be taken to the landfill to be deposited in the new galvanised 600L battery bins.

Used car and truck lead acid batteries are also accepted at the Landfill at the designated drop-off bay.

Mayor Peter Carter said one of the priorities in the Town’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-2027 was to conserve landfill space by maximising recycling services.

“As a local government, we must be more transformative in the way we interact with the environment or risk unsustainable practices where our environment is threatened or irreversibly damaged,” he said.

“By installing these bins, we’ve created a more accessible public space recycling option that allows our community to make a positive impact.”

The Containers for Change pilot will run for two months, after which the Town’s Sustainability team will assess whether to make the program permanent.

The community is encouraged to collect the containers from the baskets and drop them off at the main Containers for Change depot in Wedgefield to receive the 10c deposit, all whilst supporting Care for Hedland’s Refund Point Operations.

“We are seeing a lot of instances where our community members are rummaging through general waste bins for contents to recycle for 10c.” said Narelle Wells, Care for Hedland’s Acting Association Coordinator.

“Not only is this illegal, it is also a safety hazard. These containers will be a fantastic addition to the general waste bins, as they will separate the general waste from containers, allowing community members to participate more safely.”

The battery recycling program has been introduced not only to boost recycling but to minimise the risks they cause when disposed of incorrectly.

“Batteries – particularly lithium batteries – can be dangerous and cause fires if they are not disposed of correctly,” Mayor Carter said.

“There are between two and three small fires per week at the South Hedland Landfill caused by batteries.

“So providing these bins at Town facilities will help educate the public on safe disposal of batteries.

“We are hopeful of expanding this program in the future, but initially we would encourage people to take any old or unwanted household batteries and put them in one of the battery recycling bins rather than putting them in general waste.”

Pictured L - R: Narelle Wells (Acting Association Coordinator at Care for Hedland) and Rupa Kharti (Sustainability Advisor at the Town of Port Hedland) at one of the new installation sites, Wanangkura Stadium. 

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