Recycling Facts for Kids

It is time we acknowledged recycling facts for kids are just as important brush their teeth or take the plug out of the sink. We all know that it’s important to recycle in order to reduce waste, save energy, save our precious resources and protect the environment for future generations.

Here in Brisbane, we’re extremely lucky to live in a city that prides itself on being clean and green which in a sense makes recycling and minimising landfill even more important. But how do we instill the importance of recycling in our Brisbane Kids?

Recycling Facts that matter

According to Brisbane City Council:

Last year, Council recycled more than 91,400 tonnes from your recycling bins at home. These materials have been remade into all sorts of things, including packaging, parts of toys, bikes, cars and even trains. Although this is a great effort, we can still do better to recycle more and stop wasting valuable resources that end up in landfill.

Image courtesy of Brisbane City Council

Image courtesy of Brisbane City Council

The good news is that there’s a whole array of resources and services available to us, to help make recycling easy, practical and part of everyday life in Brisbane.

Recycling at home

It’s never too early to teach recycling facts to kids or teach them about our environment and how they as individuals can do their part to help save the planet. The first place to start is by showing them what can be recycled and providing a recycling bin at home for all the recyclable items.

In general, in Brisbane, items that can be placed in the yellow-lidded recycling bins include:

  • Paper: Scrap paper, coloured paper, newspaper, magazines, wrapping paper, greetings cards, envelopes, etc.
  • Cardboard: Boxes, cartons, cardboard coffee cups, etc.
  • Plastic: Firm plastic containers (e.g. drink bottles, takeaway containers, yoghurt pots), disposable plates and cups, etc.
  • Aluminium and steel: Food cans, drink cans, aerosol cans, paint tins (empty and clean), aluminium foil and trays, etc.
  • Glass: Sauce jars, jam jars, drink bottles, perfume bottles, vitamin bottles, etc.

For information on recycling at home and full details of what can and can’t be recycled, you can download Brisbane’s Best Recycling Guide here, in either PDF or Word format and various languages.

Remember not to put your recyclable items in plastic bags, as these cannot be opened at the recycling centres and everything inside ends up in landfill.

Image courtesy of Brisbane City Council

Image courtesy of Brisbane City Council

Organic recycling in Brisbane

Often, 50% of our household waste is organic waste from the kitchen and garden. This waste does not need to end up in landfill. Garden waste can be recycled using green waste recycling bins, available to all residents for a small fee. To order one of these bins, call Council on (07) 3403 8888.

Organic waste can also be easily composted at home and even provides with you with a highly nutritious fertiliser for your garden! You can compost using either a compost bin or a worm farm, which kids just love.

Worm farms can recycle fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds and egg shells. Compost bins can recycle all of those, plus grass and plant cuttings, pet hair, saw dust and even vacuum cleaner contents.

If you want to find out how to compost using a bin or worm farm, Brisbane City Council runs FREE composting workshops all over the city. For more information, call Council on (07) 3403 8888.

Awesome Apps to Aid Recycling in Brisbane for Kids

You can download Brisbane City Council’s FREE, award-winning Brisbane Bin and Recycling app here, which lets you know what items can be recycled and also includes other useful information, such as maps and directions for Council’s waste facilities, notifications about upcoming kerbside collections, and recycling tips and myths.

There are also two amazing apps for kids to get them interested in recycling and also worm farming at home:

Lunchtime Legends

Lunchtime Legends is a fun game of battling against the clock to sort falling rubbish to become Brisbane’s best recycler!

Worm World

Worm World is a great app for teaching kids about organic recycling. They will learn how to keep a worm farm and will have to protect their worm farm from sneaky pests!

Recycling at Council’s Transfer Stations in Brisbane

Many items that aren’t allowed in the yellow-lidded home recycling bins can still be recycled at Council’s transfer stations (rubbish tips). Residents are given general waste/recycling vouchers to cover the charges for recycling items at the transfer stations, and items should be placed in the signed and designated collection areas.

Items that can be recycled include: lead acid batteries, electronic waste (e.g. mobile phones, computers), fluorescent lighting tubes and bulbs, garden waste, non-treated timber, glass, cardboard and metals, LPG bottles, fire extinguishers, oil, paints, white goods and appliances, and unwanted household items.

Council’s four transfer stations are located at:

  • 1402 Nudgee Road, Nudgee
  • 360 Sherbrooke Road, Willawong
  • 101 Upper Kedron Road, Ferny Grove
  • 728 Tilley Road, Chandler

Recycling at Tip Shops

Council has two tip shops, that are open every weekend and sell quality used, recycled and second-hand products and household items. Visiting the tip shops with kids is a great experience for them to experience a new way of shopping and to see that new isn’t always best. Plus the shops are run to support the Endeavour Foundation.

You’d be amazed to see what is available, including: toys, sports equipment, books, collectables and household furnishings.

Kids can also donate their old toys and other items in usable condition to the tip shops via any of the four transfer stations, as their way of paying it forward to others.

The tip shops are located at:

  • 46 Colebard Street West, Acacia Ridge
  • 27A Prosperity Place, Geebung

Drive-through Recycling in Brisbane

Brisbane even has it’s very first drive-through recycling centre! The Willawong Resource Recovery Centre is a purpose-built centre that makes it easy and fast to drop off your accepted recyclable items.

The Willawong Resource Recovery Centre is located at the Willawong Transfer Station:

  • 360 Sherbrooke Road, Willawong

Crisis help Brisbane

Thrift shops, re-use centres and more

Another way for kids to get involved in recycling is to donate their no longer used or wanted items. Taking toys and clothes that they have grown out of to your local thrift store is a great way to support amazing charities at the same time as reducing your own waste. Kids love the idea of helping others. Doing an annual donation before Christmas can be a great family tradition and a wonderful way for kids to think of those less fortunate at this time of year. At other times of the year, allowing kids to take along a small amount of pocket money to buy a ‘new’ item as a replacement is another way to support charity and keep reusing.

Re-use centres such as Reverse Garbage are also a great place to go to support environmental sustainability and reusing resources. Reverse Garbage collects all sorts of materials that they then sell to the public, such as industrial discards from a wide range of businesses and industries around Brisbane. Their items for sale are great for clothes making, arts and crafts, jewellery, party decoration, home renovations and so much more. Visit reversegarbagequeensland.com.au to find out more.

Plastic bags can also be returned for recycling at most supermarkets, and many thrift stores and other small shops or stalls often appreciate donations too.

We hope you use these recycling facts for kids not only in the home but as a quality resource in the classrooms. If you feel we have missed something or you can add some value then comment below!

Our kids are the future and helping to teach them to be environmentally conscious by doing things like recycling is the best way to ensure the future protection of the planet. It also helps them to see that even someone small CAN make a difference, which is a beautiful lesson to empower our little superheroes!

About the Author
Stirling
Ngaire Stirling
Owner and Founder of Brisbane Kids, Ngaire grew up in Brisbane and lives with her husband, 3 kids and too many animals. She has marketing and teaching qualifications focused on the early year of schooling. She loves long summer days, bright starry nights and working on Brisbane Kids.

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