Redlands IndigiScapes Centre has extended its specialist recycling station to trial a TerraCycle Face Mask Zero Waste Box to recycle single-use face masks on behalf of the Redlands Coast community.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the move came after concerns were raised about the additional litter and burden on landfill resulting from all the disposable masks being worn throughout the pandemic.
“The fact that disposable face masks are not accepted in our kerbside recycling hasn’t presented a problem before, but we find ourselves in changing times,” Cr Williams said.
“As Council’s environmental education hub, IndigiScapes, already houses a recycling station for items such as CDs, VHS, toothbrushes and toothpaste and x-rays; it is the ideal location to trial mask disposal as well.
“Now residents can drop all types of single-use face masks in the TerraCycle box at the Centre, which provides a sustainable and convenient disposal solution.
“When full, the box will be returned to TerraCycle, where the waste will be quarantined for at least three months.
“The contents of the box will then be manually sorted and shredded. The metal from the nose clips is smelted and the plastic is melted down into low-grade plastic pellets. The recycled pellet material is then used by third parties to manufacture a variety of new products including outdoor furniture, park benches and decking.”
Councillor for Division 7 Rowanne McKenzie said that Council encouraged everyone to follow the Queensland Health guidelines on safe disposals of masks.
“Whilst the box is lined with a plastic bag so no one can come into contact with the waste, Queensland Health guidelines require face masks to be placed in a sealed bag prior to disposal,” she said.
“Only non-woven disposable plastic-based face masks can be placed in the mask disposal box at IndigiScapes, including 3-ply surgical, dust masks, KN95, and N95 masks.
“Do not bring in cloth masks or other types of protective gear like gloves, hair nets, or lab coats and garments.
“The mask disposal box is situated in the foyer of IndigiScapes and accessible during the centre’s opening hours, 8am-4pm, seven days per week.
“Why not visit the native nursery, wander through the native botanic gardens, go for a bushwalk or drop into the café while you’re there.
“It’s a naturally wonderful experience.”
Redlands IndigiScapes Centre is located at 17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba.
To learn more about TerraCycle and its programs visit terracycle.com.au.