Gold Coasters urged to ‘chip’ in on recycling

Published on 13 November 2023

Mayor Tom Tate with EcoMarines from Benowa State School

Mayor Tom Tate has marked National Recycling Week by meeting with some of the Gold Coast’s reusing experts – the EcoMarines from Benowa State School.

As well as showing the Mayor their unique project which reuses chip packets they gave him some top tips for recycling.

“National Recycling Week is a good reminder that we can all do our bit to reduce waste, reuse items and recycle in order to reduce landfill and care for the environment,” Mayor Tate said.

“When it comes to waste the most important thing you can know is what can and can’t go in our yellow lid recycling bin.

“Remember the top five things you can recycle are glass, paper, cardboard, aluminium, and hard plastic.  You would be surprised at what you can recycle – that includes empty deodorant cans and pizza boxes.

“Batteries cannot go in the recycling, green organics or general waste bin. They are dangerous for both people and machines. Find your nearest battery disposal location by visiting”

National Recycling Week runs from today until November 19.

The EcoMarines have been collecting chip packets which will be turned into blankets and are distributed by the Gold Coast Youth Service.

Once collected, students from the nearby Benowa State High School make sure the chip packets are washed, the seals removed and cut open. They are then fused together with an iron before bread bags are ironed on for an extra layer of protection.

The sheets are then given out as waterproof sleeping bag covers or ground sheets to help keep those living rough warm and dry.

Benowa State School teacher Monique Richardson, who is overseeing the Green Thumbs Clean Lands Project, said: “At Benowa we are very proud to be a part of the chip packet project which not only diverts waste from landfill but most importantly responds to a very important need in our community.

“At Benowa State School it is our goal to become a zero-waste school by the end of 2026. Through our Green Thumbs and Clean Lands project which is a sustainable waste management and edible garden initiative. Our aim is to educate and engage our students in the importance of recycling and environmental conservation efforts while fostering a sense of responsibility and stewardship towards our planet.

“We are also very proud of our composting system which is diverting over 2000 kg per year of food waste from land fill which in turn reduces greenhouse gases. But of course, it is also worth noting that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is just one of the environmental benefits of composting. Compost also improves soil health of our food forest, which reduces the need for chemical fertilisers, and helps sequester carbon in the soil. We are also harvesting over 16000 litres of rainwater for OUR Food Forest.

“Our school and the Eco Marines are committed to becoming more environmentally conscious and reducing our carbon footprint. Together we are working towards a greener, sustainable future.”

For more information on what can be recycled on the Gold Coast download the City app or visit