Help Us Help You
Better known as ‘Craigy’, Cowra’s Barry Craig trains the junior rugby league sides and enjoys working at the local recycling facility. What he doesn’t enjoy is having to sort through contaminants in the recyclables dropped off every week.
“We’ve had chooks and dogs come through on the belt, it doesn’t make you want to come to work the next day when that happens.
“The public needs to know we are human, we’ve got to touch the recycling. You know me. I work here. Let me get all the recycling items and get them where they need to go.
“So please, take a bit more care with what you put in the recycling because we’re here to do a job.”
Craigy has been training junior league for more than 30 years. One young player gave him a card at the end of the year which said You didn’t make me a great footballer but you made me a better person.
“That’s what I believe in: helping people out. So now I’m asking people to help me to help you. We need to get this recycling done right.”
Craigy says dirty nappies, dog faeces, needles and other contaminants in the recycling means it all has to go to landfill and that’s not a good outcome for anyone.
He loves a drink at the Cowra Bowling Club and a yarn with all the locals, and he’s going to keep repeating the message to simply read what’s allowed to go in the recycling bins and only put those items in.
Gilgandra Recycling Facility’s team leader Stuart is becoming frustrated with the regular contamination being found in their recyclables stream.
“We really like the job, we sort the bottles, PETs, papers and cardboard and aluminium cans, it’s a big job.”
Sometimes the team at the Gilgandra Recycling Facility has to go outside to get away from the smell of the rubbish that’s been mixed in with the recyclable waste.
“What we don’t like is finding bags of dirty food, clothes, syringes and other objects that shouldn’t be in the recycling.”
Stuart says “I like coming in to work we just want the community to put their proper recycling items in the bins for us to sort safely.”
He feels better signage might help people to be better at recycling, knowing what can and can’t be recycled.
“Recycling that’s got other bits and pieces and bags of dirty nappies and food in it has to go to the landfill.”
Mid Western Region Waste Facility Supervisor Tiffany says “I don’t think the community understands that what they put in their recycling bin is hand sorted by people. If you put rotten food, dirty nappies or hazardous waste in your recycling bin, we have to sort through that.”
She says when rotten food contaminates the recycling it’s full of maggots and the whole team has to clear out of the shed because the stench is overwhelming.
“If there was one message that I would love to get out, that would be for the community to think of our guys when you’re sorting your recycling.”
Tiffany says “We support people with disabilities who come to work in the Mudgee facility. Our guys love coming to work and love providing a service to the community. They enjoy their jobs, but not when the recyclables arrive at the depot with dog faeces, needles and all sorts of things that you wouldn’t want to handle yourself.”
“I don’t think the public understand that what they put in their recycling bins is hand sorted by real people.”
The Mid Western Waste Facility crew would like you to Help Us to Help You recycle right.