Around 265 tonnes of plastic waste is sent and processed at the Tuncurry Material Recovery Facility each year before being on-sold to specialist Australian businesses which recycle the material into PET flakes.
Responding to a report on the current affairs program, 60 Minutes, MidCoast Council planning and natural systems acting director, Paul De Szell said council had a strong recycling culture in local region.
Mr De Szell said 73 per cent of households regularly used their yellow-lidded bins.
"Contrary to a recent report on 60 Minutes that Aussie plastics are ending up in Malaysian landfills, recyclable plastics recovered through our kerbside collection are sorted, baled and on-sold for re-purposing," he said.
Once sorted, recyclable plastics such as soft drink bottles, take-away containers and plastic fruit punnets are processed by specialist recycling businesses into PET flakes.
These then become an ingredient used in manufacturing products such as new PET bottles, clothing, carpets and packaging.
In the Mid Coast local government area (LGA) plastics are sent to businesses including Australian Recycled Plastics in Narrabri.
Historically, waste products suitable for recycling from across the world were sent to China and used in their manufacturing processes," Mr De Szell said.
Sustainability and the issue of recycling has escalated following a policy shift in China known as the National Sword when early last year, the Chinese government banned the importation of waste products including PET drink bottles.
"None of the waste produced in our region is transported outside the Mid Coast for disposal to landfill."
MidCoast Council currently pays more than $4 million annually in waste levy to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for waste disposal within the region.
Local landfills are all licensed facilities, and materials are stored within strict license conditions, including processing within 12 months.
"Our message to the local community is to reduce, re-use and recycle," Mr De Szell said.
"And, to avoid soft plastic waste - like plastic bags, cling wrap and bubble wrap - these soft plastics cannot be recycled and don't belong in your yellow bin".
For information about what products are suitable for recycling, and ideas and initiatives to help reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfill, visit the MidCoast Council bins and waste site.
View the joint industry media statement issued by Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) on April 15.
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