Forget what you have been told; takeaway coffee cups cannot go in Baw Baw’s recycling bins.
Despite previously campaigning for locals to put takeaway coffee cups in the recycling, the Baw Baw Shire Council is now asking people to avoid doing exactly that.
In a media release, a council spokesperson said the confusion arose from a waste audit late last year. The audit showed a large number of takeaway coffee cups were being thrown into street rubbish bins in Baw Baw.
“Following these results, Baw Baw Shire was ensured by Solo that clean cups were recyclable and follow the same process as milk cartons and juice boxes,” the spokesperson said.
“Following this insight, [Baw Baw] launched a campaign to encourage the community to recycle their coffee cups.”
But advice given by ABC TV’s War on Waste series raised doubts about the campaign.
“The program [claimed] all coffee cups are not recyclable as they contain a thin layer of plastic lining,” the spokesperson said.
“As a result, waste contractors were asked by [the] council to re-investigate.
“After extensive investigation by Solo, it has been determined that small quantities of coffee cups are able to be recycled. However, due to the lengthy process of extracting the plastic lining, large quantities of coffee cups are not able to be processed.”
The council stressed that plastic takeaway coffee cup lids are still considered recyclable, but “compostable coffee cups, like Biocups, are also not recyclable or compostable in the general waste bin.”
Baw Baw mayor Joe Gauci said the council has reversed its previous advice in light of the findings.
“While small amounts of takeaway coffee cups that have been cleaned and separated from the lid are able to be processed by the recycling plant, it is no longer encouraged that coffee cups are placed in the recycling bin,” Cr Gauci said in a media release.
This is “due to increased usage, causing quantities that are unmanageable by the recycling plant.”
The best way to reduce waste created by takeaway coffee is to bring your own cup or mug.
This story also appeared in today’s Baw Baw In Brief. Click play below to watch the full show.