Easter is just around the corner and that means chocolate - from the Easter Bunny’s basket of treats and egg hunts to goodies from grandparents in the afternoon.
But unwrapping dozens of chocolate eggs leaves behind a mountain of colourful foil, clear plastic containers and cardboard.
The good news is all of these things can be recycled via Wellington Shire Council’s kerbside recycling collection.
In fact, the bright aluminium foil used to wrap your eggs is the most valuable of all materials to recycle. Recycling aluminium saves 95 per cent of the energy it takes to make it.
Today’s foil wrapper can be tomorrow’s soft drink can, window frame or airplane part. About three-quarters of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today thanks to recycling.
But the little bits of foil peeled off each Easter egg are not big enough to be reprocessed at a resource recovery centre. To ensure foil egg wrappers are recycled, they need to be cleaned of chocolate then loosely scrunched into the size of a golf ball.
Balls of foil can then go into the yellow recycle bin, along with the hard clear-plastic packaging (made of PET, the same stuff big soft drink bottles are made of), and cardboard boxes, including the plastic window found on the front of some boxes.
Soft plastics, such as hot cross bun bags and wrappers from standard chocolate bars that often come with an egg can go back to your supermarket and into a REDCycle collection bin (see www.redcycle.net.au). Sadly, bows and ribbons are not recyclable.
Australians will spend over $150 million on eggs this Easter, so everyone doing their bit helps avoid a seasonal overload at our landfill sites. So, scrunch that foil, recycle it with boxes, return wrappers and have a safe and happy Easter long weekend.
For more on kerbside recycling, Wellington Shire Council’s Transfer Stations and the REDcycle program, visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/recycling.