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SMRC ENewsletter

Will you be going Plastic Free this July?

Plastic. Made from oil, a single-use plastic straw is essentially millions of years in the making, only to be used for 5 minutes before being discarded. Even more alarming is the fact that a million tonnes of plastic waste is sent to landfill in Australia every year.

Recycle Right encourages local households, businesses and schools to accept the Plastic Free July Challenge. Plastic Free July started as a local initiative in Perth, Western Australia and has grown into a global initiative. The challenge is quite simple: attempt to consume no single-use plastic during July.

Single-use plastic is anything that is intended to be used once then thrown away. If all single-use plastic sounds a bit daunting, just try the “big four” single-use plastic items: plastic bags, plastic cups, straws and plastic bottles.

Register for the challenge and share your experiences, ideas and tips at

The WREN pledge to Recycle Right

Visit the WREN’s Facebook page, and tell us what you pledge to do to reduce your plastic waste this Plastic Free July.

By committing your pledge and liking our page, you will go into the running to win a plastic free pack, including Onya shopping bags, a lunch wrap and produce bags.

Terms and Conditions of the competition can be read at

SMRC committed to the environment, quality, safety and the community

SMRC’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre commitment to Environment, Quality and Safety was recognised in May 2016 through the re-certification of the Environmental Management System, continued certification of the Occupational Health & Safety Management System and the newly certified Quality Management System. Certified through SAI Global all three certifications reinforce SMRC’s Regional Resource Recovery Centre commitment to system improvement, customer and community satisfaction.  

The 3Rs

When visitors come on tour of the RRRC they are asked what the 3Rs are. And whilst most get “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” correct, they struggle to answer which one is most important.

It’s no surprise though – if we think recycling is the best option, we can just keep buying products without feeling bad about throwing them away, since they’ll be recycled. But reducing our waste is always the best choice. If the rubbish doesn’t exist, it’s very easy to get rid of, because it’s not there in the first place!

Reuse is an idea that’s been around for a long time. From the milk bottles that were returned to the milk man to be refilled, to the aluminium foil that was carefully washed before being used again and again, reuse is something that has long made sense. So remember to take your own bags grocery shopping, pack your lunch in a reusable container and don’t forget your own water bottle or coffee cup.

To find out what happens to your recyclables, why not come on a tour of the RRRC. If you’d like to organise a visit to find out what happens to your waste, call Emma on 9256 9528 or via email

Recycle Right celebrates with Little Peoples Place Willagee

On Saturday 25th June, Little Peoples Place Willagee celebrated their 5th birthday by having a Community Carnival. The centre teaches their children how to be more sustainable by having recycling stations, a vegetable garden and two chickens living in their “Chick Inn”. Recycle Right went along to teach the community about what bin to put it in and to raise awareness about the number of nappies finding their way into recycling bins.

As a special birthday celebration, party guests who signed up for our e-news at the event went into the running to win a Waste Free Pack to help them reduce their waste at home. Our lucky winner is Hazel Grunwaldt. Congratulations Hazel! We hope you enjoy shopping smart and recycling right.

Recycle Right in your classroom

To support the work that many teachers are already doing so well in their classrooms and schools, our Education Officer has developed some amazing classroom resources which are aligned with the Western Australian Curriculum. The teaching kits include vocabulary worksheets, a printable word wall and useful units of work that can be used in conjunction with a visit to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre.  This is a new resource, so teachers we would love to hear your feedback!

Available to be downloaded from

The Last Straw

There once was a time when the only straws you could get were made from paper. These days, the billions of straws used around the world are made from plastic. Straws are rarely recycled; even if they are put in your yellow-topped bin, due to their small size, they are hard to recover at a Materials Recovery Facility.

What you can do

Refuse – Go straw free.

Replace – Archaeologists uncovered an ancient Sumerian straw made from gold and precious stones. Whilst modern reusable straws aren’t as fancy, reduce your plastic waste by investing in glass or stainless steel straws.

Respond – Let cafés and stores know why you don’t want a straw and encourage them to find alternatives. If you are a café owner or worker, commit to only offering straws to patrons when they ask and provide paper straws where possible. More support is available at

Community Litter Grants
Have you got an idea to help quit the litter in your community?

The Keep Australia Beautiful Community Litter Grants 2017 provide funding for projects that seek to change littering behaviour. Local government authorities, community groups, small to medium sized enterprises and schools are eligible to apply for the grants, which must be for projects in the public domain that work towards a litter-free WA.

Applications open 1st July and must be received by COB 15th August 2016. Grants of up to $10,000 will be paid for major initiatives or regional projects, with grants of up to $5,000 available for local area projects.

For more information, contact Keep Australia Beautiful WA on (08) 6467 5122 or email

Problem Waste...

Bagged Recyclables

You do the right thing. You sort your recycling from your organic waste, such as food. You rinse your containers. You take the lids off. But the moment you put those recyclables in a plastic bag and into your yellow-topped bin, you’ve destined your recycling to landfill.

Our system cannot process recycling tied up in bags. When bottles, cans and paper are all put together in a bag, there is no way for those items to be sorted correctly. With the sheer volume of recycling we receive every day, our workers do not have the time to open up plastic bags. So help us to recycle right and don't bag your recyclables!

For more information about using your bins correctly, download the FREE Recycle Right app from the App Store or Google Play today.

Introducing Patrick Hay

We are excited to introduce Patrick Hay as our latest addition to the team here at the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council. Patrick joins us as a Communications and Events Officer and brings with him experience and knowledge in Sustainability and Environmental Education.

Prior to joining us, Patrick spent time working in Community Education at the Water Corporation and the City of Cockburn. He has a strong background in Sustainability and is currently nearing the completion of a Master’s in Sustainability and Climate Policy.

We look forward to Patrick’s contribution to the SMRC and if you see Patrick at one of our tours or events, be sure to say hello!

Bird Friendly Gardening Workshop at Piney Lakes

Date: 30 July 2016

Time: 8.30am – 12.30pm

Join experts from Birdlife Australia and Beyond Gardens for an insightful workshop into how to create water-wise, insect and fauna friendly gardens that support our local avian species. Receive practical tips on identifying local birds, creating habitat, managing birds visiting your garden and how birds can help your garden thrive.

Bookings are essential, check out for more information and to register.
Perth Science Week

Coming Soon!

Recycle Right’s Wonderfilled World of Waste: Clever Composters

As part of National Science Week 2016 the Recycle Right Team will be holding a stall at Perth Science Festival on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 August. Keep an eye on the Recycle Right website for more details.

Community Planting Days

Sunday 31st of July is National Tree Planting Day, but plenty of groups will be planting for all of July. Not only do trees produce the oxygen we breathe, they capture carbon dioxide from the air, helping to keep our planet healthy. Our native vegetation also provides habitats for a variety of animal life. Planting days are held regularly and assist in enhancing the biodiversity of our communities.

So roll up your sleeves and join these volunteer groups for a fun-filled day of tree planting.

Saturday July 2
Belgravia Dampland Reserve, Bertram – contact to register your interest

Sunday, July 3
Thomas Oval Bushland, Medina  – contact to register your interest

Saturday July 9
Manning Park, Spearwood – contact to register your interest

Saturday July 30
South Beach, Fremantle – Register at

Sunday July 31
Bibra Lake, Bibra Lake – contact to register your interest
Lake Magenup, Wandi – contact to register your interest
Wellard Park, Wellard – contact to register your interest

Waste Wise Schools can help your school Recycle Right

Waste Wise Schools is a program of the Waste Authority. The program supports schools in Western Australia to reduce waste to landfill by implementing the 3Rs–reduce, reuse, and recycle, while developing positive environmental values in students and the whole school community.

The next grant round for accredited Waste Wise Schools closes 29 July. These grants are provided through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account to primary and secondary schools to set up projects that divert waste from landfill and involve students in being waste wise.  

Visit the Waste Wise Schools section of the Waste Authority’s website for more information,
Tours of the Regional Resource Recovery Centre

If you’d like to organise a visit to find out what happens to your waste, call Emma on 9256 9528 or via email

The next community tour dates open to families and individuals are:

• Saturday 02 July 2016

• Tuesday 12 July 2016

• Friday 15 July 2016

Other dates can be arranged for groups. To discuss your tour requirements, please contact Emma Baker on: 9256 9528 or

To discuss your tour requirements, please contact Emma Baker on the contact details given above.

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Copyright © 2016 Southern Metropolitan Regional Council, All rights reserved.

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