Ask Megan!

Ever wondered why Midcoast Council doesn’t accept food in their green waste bins? Or why rural areas don’t have a green bin at all? Do I take the lids off my recycling?

These are all commonly asked questions, and our resident Waste Education Officer is at your service!

Simply complete the form below and have your questions answered. You can even send your question in via Facebook!

All questions and answers (unless related to a specific residence or service) will then be added below for everyone to learn from.


Ask Megan


Let’s start with these great questions from Harrington residents.

Where does our recycling get processed?

Currently, our paper & cardboard is sent to Sydney, our steel & aluminium is sent to Newcastle, and our plastics are sent all the way to Melbourne. Unfortunately there are limited recyclers within Australia, and this is something that the State and Federal Government are working on.

 Why don’t we accept food waste in our green bins?

The current contract with JR Richards only allows for green waste (sticks, leaves, grass) in our green bins, as we don’t have a local processing facility that can safely remove the pathogens that are found in food organics. This is something that Council are considering for the next contract period due mid 2021. Our Regional Group of Councils MIDWASTE run Scraps to Soils workshops and Midcoast Council provide subsidised compost bins for residents to encourage recycling of food scraps and diverting valuable minerals from landfill.

What plastics can be recycled?

We currently have excess plastics that can not be recycled within Australia. This is a worldwide issue, since Jan 2018, when China ceased receiving many recyclable products from around the world. The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) which sorts the yellow bin contents is largely machine based and works best with common household items, rigid plastic containers. Whilst we don’t really talk ‘numbers’ 1-7 the best and most valuable (easily recyclable) plastics are a 1 PET (soft drink/water ) and 2 HDPE (milk bottles) you can book a tour to experience it for yourself.

Maggots in the red bin in summer?

Summer is very hot in this region, and flies are common. The best way to keep them from your wheely bin is to enclose all your waste. But there is no need to run out and buy bin liners, there a lots of bags already in your home – it might be from the potatoes, carrots or even the loaf of bread. You can grow herbs near your bins to deter flies – such as basil, lavender, mint and rosemary, and they can be used in the house also – double win!

What can I do with bread tags? Can I recycle them?

Bread tags are very small and low grade plastic and can’t be recycled. If you don’t like the thought of putting them in the red bin, use them to organise your cables in the office, permanent marker with printer, pc, internet etc and you will always know which one to turn on. You can also use them as name tags for your wine glasses at your next event, or guitar picks. Don’t forget you can always use them for craft – get creative 🙂