Salamander Bay Recycling begins hair foil collection on Tomaree Peninsula with surprising results

TEAM EFFORT: Gerard McClafferty from Salamander Bay Recycling and Matilda Duncombe, 17, from Fresh Salon Nelson Bay. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
TEAM EFFORT: Gerard McClafferty from Salamander Bay Recycling and Matilda Duncombe, 17, from Fresh Salon Nelson Bay. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

There’s no doubt how popular a cut and colour is on the Tomaree Peninsula.

Not when Salamander Bay Recycling was able to recover 161 kilograms of foils  – the things hairdressers use to apply the colour – in less than seven weeks.

“It’s a lot of hair dos,” Salamander Bay Recycling general manager Gerard McClafferty said.

“The hairdressers have been very diligent getting on board. I didn’t think the bag would be this heavy.”

Anyone who has ever collected aluminium cans will vouch that the not-for-profit centre isn’t about to get rich on this collection. Mr McClafferty said the financial return was very little but nonetheless important.

TEAM EFFORT: Gerard McClafferty from Salamander Bay Recycling and Matilda Duncombe, 17, from Fresh Salon Nelson Bay. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

TEAM EFFORT: Gerard McClafferty from Salamander Bay Recycling and Matilda Duncombe, 17, from Fresh Salon Nelson Bay. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

“It’s aluminium that won’t go into landfill but back into the system to be reused,” he said.

“There’s not a lot of money in that volume but it’s about awareness and getting people to think about what they can recycle.”

Mr McClafferty said salons could recycle 85 per cent of waste they produce. The foils, he said, were just the beginning.

“People might see the irony – a man with a bald head talking about recycling salon items – but if we can stop these items going to landfill then it’s great,” he said.

The participating salons were:

  • Hair by Charly Jane, Nelson Bay
  • Studio 3, Corlette
  • Fresh Studio, Nelson Bay
  • Best Hairdressers in Town, Nelson Bay
  • Chez Nous Hair 4 U, Salamander Bay
  • Head Office and Co, Salamander Bay
  • KD's Hair Design, Soldiers Point

Related reading:

According to Planet Ark, Australia enjoys better rates of recycling aluminium than most in the world. It provides the following advice.

  • Almost two out of every three cans is recycled.
  • Aluminium does not 'degrade' during the recycling process, which means it can be recycled over and over again. Recycling aluminium reduces the need for raw materials and reduces the use of valuable energy resources.
  • For every tonne of aluminium recycled, five tonnes of bauxite are conserved.
  • Aluminium is a valuable material to recycle due to the large amount of energy and resources used in the initial manufacture. Making a can from recycled materials rather than from bauxite saves 95 per cent of the energy.
  • Each single can recycled, saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours. This means that recycling one kilogram of aluminium saves 20kg of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. 

For more, see the Planet Ark fact sheet.