Bag Lady makes a move on recycling

Recycle: Shirley Lewis (aka the Bag Lady) and Cr Romola Hollywood with a sample of lids that can be recycled.
Recycle: Shirley Lewis (aka the Bag Lady) and Cr Romola Hollywood with a sample of lids that can be recycled.

She's gained a reputation as the Bag Lady, in her efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Now Shirley Lewis is on a new mission with her project Living ASAP (as sustainably as possible).

Her current target is recycling and she is hoping to rev up Mountains residents to get them to take more care with what and how they recycle.

Cr Romola Hollywood is on a similar mission. She has joined Ms Lewis in a campaign to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.

"When I began recycling many years ago, the message was to remove the lids and not to throw them in the recycling bin as they were too small for the machines to process," Cr Hollywood said. 

Believing that might have changed, she sought advice from council officers who said most plastic lids can now be recycled.

"However, these lids need to be made of the same plastic as the containers," she said. 

"For example, once you have cleaned and dried your empty plastic milk bottle, you can put the plastic lid back on the bottle and put it all in your recycling bin. Plastic lids can also be put separately into the bin.

"However, recycling lids is not entirely straightforward. 

"Containers and lids are not always made of the same materials. Glass jars and bottles often have metal lids and so must be separated to be recycled.

"And pump-packs should be avoided as they may contain 'metal springs' that could contaminate the recycle waste stream."

Council has a long list of what can and can't be recycled on its website.

Ms Lewis is starting an online campaign for people to share stories - and photos - about how they recycle. 

Ms Lewis herself rarely puts out her recycling bin and only puts her garbage bin out every four or five months

"That's how little I use. Both of those bins are hardly ever filled up," she said.

Look out for the ads in the Gazette and online soon,  inviting people to send photos - either of what you are proud of or of what you can do better.