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The REDcycle Crisis explained

Few events in waste have captured our attention in recent months like REDcycle’s suspension of soft plastic collections.  It has been dubbed a ‘collapse’ and has been referred to as a ‘crisis’, ‘debacle’, ‘shock’ and a ‘botched plastic bag recycling program’.

Like many things though, the pandemic came along and caused a significant strain for the REDCycle system. With online shopping booming, plastic wrapping and consumer participation soared with collection volumes increasing more than 350 per cent since 2019.

Unforeseen challenges, exacerbated by the pandemic, soon meant that REDCycle’s recycling partners were unable to accept and process the rapidly increasing volume of soft plastics due to lack of immediate access to infrastructure, processing capacity, and most importantly demand for recycled products.  Read more here:

Whilst the media is talking about the stockpiling and failings of a company that was single-handedly trying to solve a huge problem, we should be focusing on the real failings of the packaging industry. This being the lack of legislation to mandate recycled content in products and responsibility on producers of plastic packaging to take back the material, through a product stewardship scheme which invests directly in facilities that will accept and remanufacture it into recycled packaging.

But why stop at packaging?  For other major categories of goods – from consumer goods to building materials, fridges to fit-outs. Design products to last and provide access to affordable repair to extend product life as long as possible (including right to repair legislation), design for disassembly and repair, and mandate collection logistics and resource recovery for end-of-life materials.  This is where the most significant economic and environmental gains will be made.

Government and corporate sustainability strategies are moving quickly to include circular economy principles that cost-effectively increase material efficiency and social equality while reducing embodied carbon emissions and regenerating ecosystems and biodiversity - Justin Bonsey – principal consultant, circular economy at Edge Environment

Read more here:        


“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”

Quote by Pete Seeger – Folk Singer & Social Activist

Brinkley Waste & Recycling Facility accepts flood-affected material.

The River Murray is returning to regular levels.  Disposal vouchers are available for anyone impacted by flood water to dispose of flood affected materials for free at participating transfer stations.

How do I get my free disposal vouchers?

You can register to get 5 free waste disposal vouchers per property, to dispose of flood-affected materials.

Call Green Industries SA on 1800 302 787 to register your details and get a client ID. Once you have a client ID, you can collect and redeem your vouchers at any participating waste transfer station. You can collect your vouchers at the same time you take your first load. Quote your client ID and staff will cross off one voucher and give you the remaining 4.  Each voucher can be used for a load no larger than an 8 x 5ft caged trailer.

Only flood-affected, water-damaged materials are accepted. No asbestos is accepted. For FREE assistance with asbestos removal, please register by calling 1800 302 787.

Is everyone eligible for free vouchers?

To be eligible, your property needs to have been impacted by flood water. Only materials affected by flood water are accepted. Anyone impacted by the flood water can register for free vouchers by calling 1800 302 787.

What materials are accepted at the participating transfer stations?

The types of flood-affected materials you can dispose of include:

  • hard waste (furniture, mattresses, household items, whitegoods)
  • garden waste and trees, branches and reeds that may have washed onto your property
  • debris from your house and sheds (metal, bricks, timber, piping, fittings)
  • plant and machinery (tools, lawnmowers, bikes and similar)
  • water sport equipment.

Other accepted items which must be kept separate include:

  • electronic equipment and electrical items
  • hot water systems
  • air conditioners.

Can I bring very wet and/or muddy waste to the transfer station?

Yes, however no liquid waste, septic pump-outs or similar.

Do the vouchers expire?

Yes, the vouchers are valid to 30 June 2023.

Are there any restrictions around how I can bring my waste in?

Yes, the voucher program is designed to enable the use of personal vehicles such utes and standard trailers, up to an 8 x 5ft caged trailer or similar.

How do I dispose of sandbags that are on my property?

Do not place empty sandbags in any kerbside bin, skip bin, or in the river. A collection service for the removal of sandbags from registered properties will be arranged. This will be a separate collection to the removal of flood-affected materials. Local transfer stations will also be able to accept small quantities of sandbags at no cost.  Please enquire with the transfer station prior as to their capacity to receive them.

More information  is on the Green Industries SA website.