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Best practice recycling for a sustainable environment.

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I RECYCLE:

A GUIDE TO KERBSIDE RECYCLING IN SYDNEY


I RECYCLE SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION

Following extensive research, 1300RUBBISH Pty Ltd is now proud to introduce “I RECYCLE”, a recycling education initiative that aims to reduce the amount of recyclable materials going to landfill by increasing the awareness and knowledge of recycling best practices.

1300RUBBISH is a waste logistics Company that collects and transports building and demolition materials plus bulky unwanted items such as fridges, lounges and other household or office furniture. By Jan 2007, 1300RUBBISH will have built a franchised national network covering Australia’s seven most populated cities.

1300RUBBISH makes a concerted effort to recycle as much rubbish as possible to help the environment but also to keep spiraling tipping costs down.

This new initiative grew from the Company’s recognition that recycling requires change and an active effort and one key ingredient – knowledge of what can and can’t be recycled.

I RECYCLE’s first area of investigation is Kerbside Recycling in Sydney.

An overwhelming majority of Australians think recycling is very important for the environment but unfortunately with Sydneysiders recycling less than half of what they can recycle, most don’t know what can be recycled.

Roy Morgan Research http://www.roymorgan.com featured in The Australian, 4 May 2006 shows that Australians consider themselves very active recyclers. 86% of Australians agreed that, “I try to recycle everything I can”.

Research

In the same Roy Morgan survey 88% of Australians agreed that, “If we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems”.

Recycling act now

However, in 2005 a Roy Morgan Research Survey (http://www.ecovoice.com.au) commissioned by Planet Ark (www.planetark.com.au) found that 48% of Australians were confused about what they could recycle. As a result, people are sending recyclable resources into bins destined for landfill and non-recyclable material such as drinking glasses and plastic bags are wrongly being put into recycling bins, causing the C word, contamination.

Resource NSW http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au is targeting that 66% of municipal waste is recovered and reutilized in Sydney by 2014.

The latest figures from the NSW Department of Local Government (http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au) show that 37% of Sydney household waste is recycled. If people recycled better this figure could go as high as 80% under the current Council Kerbside collection systems.

The good news is that progress has been made. In 1995 only 18% of household waste was recycled. For households, Kerbside collections are the front line so Councils deserve recognition for what they’ve achieved to date. However, the bad news is the World’s resources are precious and limited and recycling levels have plateaued in recent years so now it’s the time for the householder to assume greater responsibility for disposing of each piece of rubbish in the most sustainable way.

One of the contributors to householders inefficient recycling is the fact that every Council has their own unique set of recycling guidelines. IRECYCLE’s utopian aim was to develop a one-page waste and recycling tip sheet to which every Sydneysider could refer. Our conclusion was that a one-page reference was not feasible due to the high number of Kerbside recycling differences so we settled on a one-page reference for each Council. The I RECYCLE tips for your Council can be found here.

We all should see our recyclables as a renewable source of raw materials where everyone can make a difference and choose to contribute to our world's resources.

Next time you dispose of rubbish, ask yourself - what can I RECYCLE?

I RECYCLE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:

A GUIDE TO SYDNEY KERBSIDE RECYCLING

- Single Dwellings

STEP 1: INFORMATION SEARCH

Determine the current similarities and differences in recycling practices for the sample of 43 Greater Sydney Councils. Planet Ark (http://www.recyclingnearyou.com.au), which has a recycling search tool for Councils Australia-wide, was used as a central reference.

Our Search Engine research information search led us to the NSW Department of Local Government (http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au), which publishes data on the amount of waste and the recovery rates of recyclables for each Council.

STEP 2: VERIFICATION

All Councils were contacted directly to seek confirmation of the accuracy of Planet Ark’s data. Initially Councils were emailed and those Councils who did not reply were followed-up.

STEP 3: ONGOING RESEARCH

Recycling is a dynamic, highly innovative area in a relatively immature life cycle phase. Major drivers to this change include Government legislation and commercially viable recycling technologies.  I RECYCLE researchers will endeavour to report changes as information becomes public knowledge and Council practice.

I RECYCLE RESEARCH FINDINGS

COUNCILS HAVE THEIR OWN RECYCLING RULES
There is no standardised Kerbside recycling system across Sydney Councils at this stage. Numerous differences are noted in Table 1. Click here to view database. For a printable version of the database - click here.

TABLE 1: Kerbside Recycling by Sydney CouncilCouncils_recycling
Source: Planet Ark; Sydney Councils


Why the difference in Recycling collection systems?

There are many different factors considered with Kerbside recycling systems such as economics, population density, geographic location, local infrastructure and end markets available as well as the recycling contractors servicing the area.

For example, low populations might mean certain materials cannot be recovered to the volumes required for recycling in an area while locations far away for end markets might mean transport costs are too high for some Councils to consider.

Kerbside recycling is also a relatively new industry, only evolving into its current system in the last 20 years as community awareness has grown. Parts of the system are unsynchronized and incomplete which is another reason why we currently have so many different systems.

Source: http://www.ecorecycle.sustainability.vic.gov.au  

Where do the Recyclable Materials end up?

Recyclables are taken to a Materials Recycling Facility (MFR). This is where the load is sorted into different materials and baled for transport to recycling companies such as Visy, Australian Paper, BlueScope Steel and Coca-Cola Amatil who want to purchase these raw materials for reprocessing into new products.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/recyclingreality/default.htm

CONSISTENCIES ACROSS ALL COUNCILS
All Sydney Councils recycle the following items:

  • Clear, brown and green glass bottles and jars (NOTE: remove all lids and no white glass)
  • Cardboard and Egg Cartons, Newspapers, Magazines, Office Paper, Phone books, Envelopes (windows OK)
  • Steel and Aluminium Cans
  • Plastic #1
  • Plastic #2

WHAT CAN I RECYCLE?

Materials that can be recycled fall into 4 broad categories:
  • Glass: clear, brown or green glass only
  • Plastic bottles and containers with numbers
  • Paper and cardboard based products
  • Steel and aluminium

Organic materials are compostable and can be diverted from landfill by introducing a compost bin or worm farm system.

PLASTICS

Plastic Bottles and Containers are numbered 1-7, with each number indicating the plastic resin from which the bottle is made. Other items such as foam, meat trays and some plastic bags may also be marked with these symbols  although they are not accepted in kerbside collections.

The recycling symbol around each number is there for sorting purposes and does not represent whether the item can be recycled.

Recycling Symbols
Source: http://www.packaginggraphics.net/plastic-recycle-logos.htm

Plastic Bags are NOT RECYCLABLE even if they have a numbered symbol!
For now at least it’s best to accept that plastic bags are NOT RECYCLABLE. They have been identified as the main contaminant in Kerbside recycling.

Plastic meat trays and foam are also NOT RECYCLABLE even if they have a number.

Plastic Bottles and Containers numbers are up
There is a trend towards Councils recycling more types of plastic bottles and containers. Almost half the Councils (19 out of 43) now recycle all 7 plastics versus just 12 Councils last year. A further 7 Councils have increased the plastics numbers they recycle since last year (see Table 2).

Bottle and Jar Lids to be REMOVED
Lids of Plastic Bottles and Containers must be removed and placed in the general garbage bin. Lids cannot be Recycled because they are too small.

TABLE 2: Changes to Plastic Bottle and Container Recycling within past 12 months by Sydney Council

Plastic Type:  #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7
               
Ashfield R R R R R R R
Auburn R R R R R R R
Bankstown R R NR NR NR NR NR
Baulkham Hills R R R R R R R
Blacktown R R R R R R R
Blue Mountains R R R NR R NR NR
Botany Bay R R R R R NR NR
Burwood R R NR NR NR NR NR
Camden R R NR NR R NR NR
Campbelltown R R R R R R R
Canada R R R R R R R
Canterbury R R R R R NR NR
Fairfield R R R NR R NR NR
Gosford R R R NR R NR NR
Hawkesbury R R R R R R R
Holroyd R R R NR R NR NR
Hornsby R R R R R R R
Hunters Hill R R R NR NR NR NR
Hurstville R R R R R R R
Kogarah R R R R R R R
Ku-ring-gai R R R R R R NR
Lane Cove R R NR NR NR NR NR
Leichhardt R R R R R R R
Liverpool R R R NR NR NR NR
Manly R R R R R NR NR
Marrickville R R R R R R R
Mosman R R NR NR NR NR NR
North Sydney R R R NR NR NR NR
Parramatta R R R NR NR NR NR
Penrith R R R R R R R
Pittwater R R R R R R R
Randwick R  R  R  R  R  R  R 
Rockdale R R R R R R R
Ryde R R R R R R R
Strathfield R R R R R R R
Sutherland R R R NR R NR NR
Sydney R R R NR NR NR NR
Warringah R R R R R NR NR
Waverley R R R R R R R
Willoughby R R R NR R NR NR
Wollondilly R R R R R R R
Woollahra R R R R R NR NR
Wyong R R R NR R NR NR

NOTE: R = Recyclable (gold colour indicates only recyclable within past 12 months); NR = Not Recyclable. Sources: Planet Ark; Sydney Councils

PAPER AND CARDBOARD

Paper and Cardboard recycling is high but there are three qualifications
All Councils recycle paper and cardboard but there are differences relating to recycling practices for Pizza Boxes and Shredded Paper.

1. Pizza Boxes with food waste cause contamination

As food waste in Pizza Boxes can contaminate an entire load of cardboard, some Sydney Councils recommend removing the lid of the Pizza Box for cardboard recycling and disposing of the base separately, preferably in the compost or green waste bin.

Parramatta, Warringah and Woollahra Councils currently do not even recycle Clean Pizza Boxes due to fears of food contamination. Warringah Council advises residents to place dirty pizza boxes in either the green waste bin or in the compost and Parramatta Council will be considering the issue of pizza boxes this Winter when a new waste contract is tendered. Visy have indicated they will accept greased pizza boxes, just scrap away food remains.

2. Shredded Paper can fly-away unless contained in a recyclable package

Most Councils advised they will accept shredded paper for recycling, provided the paper is contained – either within the “wheelie” bin or within a recyclable container – to prevent fly-aways, particularly in Council areas with crate collection systems.

However some councils do not recycle shredded paper as fly-always are possible at the drop off end when trucks are unloading paper and also the truck mechanics can be clogged by smaller strips of paper.

3. Phone Books can confuse the recycling robots due to their weight.

Phone books are recycled into kitty litter! Some advice one Council recommended was splitting apart phone books into smaller portions as the weight of large phone books can confuse the sensors at sorting yards.

NOTE: Envelopes with windows and stapled paper are OK to recycle in all Councils

TETRA

Tetra Packs, Milk and Juice Cartons (liquid-paperboard) bin type varies
Take note of which bin your Tetra Packs are placed with (see Table 3). Of those Councils noted that do not use commingled bin systems, 8 Councils recycle with paper products and 12 with mixed recyclables. Wyong Council appears to be the only Council that does not recycle tetra material.

TABLE 3: Tetra Recycling by Sydney Council bin system

Council Recycle Bin Type Where Tetra belongs
Ashfield Comingled comingled
Auburn Comingled comingled
Bankstown Comingled comingled
Baulkham Hills Comingled comingled
Blacktown Comingled comingled
Blue Mountains Crates - paper & mixed with paper
Botany Bay Split Bin with plastics
Burwood Comingled comingled
Camden Split Bin with plastics
Campbelltown Split Bin with plastics
Canada Comingled comingled
Canterbury Comingled comingled
Fairfield Split Bin with plastics
Gosford Comingled comingled
Hawkesbury Comingled comingled
Holroyd Split Bin with plastics
Hornsby Comingled comingled
Hunters Hill MGBs - paper & mixed with plastics
Hurstville Comingled comingled
Kogarah Comingled comingled
Ku-ring-gai MGBs - paper & mixed with paper
Lane Cove MGBs - paper & mixed with paper
Leichhardt MGB's & Crates with paper
Liverpool Crates - paper & mixed with plastics (no silver lining)
Manly MGBs - paper & mixed with plastics
Marrickville Comingled comingled
Mosman MGB's & Crates with plastics
North Sydney Crates - paper & mixed with paper
Parramatta Comingled comingled
Penrith Split Bin with plastics
Pittwater Crates - paper & mixed with plastics
Randwick Split Bin with paper
Rockdale Comingled comingled
Ryde Split Bin with plastics (no silver lining)
Strathfield Comingled comingled
Sutherland Comingled comingled
Sydney Crates - paper & mixed with plastics
Warringah MGBs - paper & mixed with plastics
Waverley MGBs - paper & mixed with paper
Willoughby Comingled comingled
Woollahra Crates - paper & mixed with paper
Wollondilly Comingled comingled
Wyong Split Bin no tetra containers

Source: Sydney Councils

MISCELLANEOUS RECYCLABLE ITEMS

Aerosol Cans feared to explode in the Mountains
Blue Mountains are the only Council which currently does not recycle aerosol cans. This is a safety issue as they collect recyclables in crates and these are manually handled.
 
Food waste on Foil can cause contamination
9 Councils do not recycle foil due to contamination by food waste.
 
Pots can cause contamination
7 Councils do not recycle pots because they can contain metals and materials other than 100% steel or aluminium which can cause contamination during the melting process.

Medical Waste is a real danger
Did you know that Material Recycling Facilities MRF’s involve manual sorting as part of the separation processes of different materials?  Syringes pose one of the greatest risks to the staff at MRF’s and should be disposed of thoughtfully through programs like the pharmacy take back schemes. Ask your local doctor or pharmacist if you are in doubt.      

GREEN WASTE

Green Waste collections are increasing
Table 4 reveals that 24 Councils supply green waste Mobile Garbage Bins (MGBs) to residents on standard or optional basis (a fee incurred for optional usage). Botany and Woollahra Councils offer weekly collections while 23 other Councils offer a fortnightly or monthly collection. 6 Councils offer a call up booking collection service while 5 Councils collect as part of bi-annual/ tri-annual household bulk rubbish collection days with no specific green waste service provided. Blue Mountains offer a scheduled Kerbside chipping service bi-annually.

TABLE 4: Green Waste Collection by Sydney Council

Council Bin Colour Green collection
Ashfield MGB green lid fortnightly
Auburn MGB green lid fortnightly
Bankstown MGB green lid fortnightly
Baulkham Hills no bin - bundle biannual collection
Blacktown no bin - bundle booked collection
Blue Mountains no bin - bundle biannual collection
Botany Bay MGB green lid weekly
Burwood no bin - bundle booked collection
Camden MGB brown lid fortnightly
Campbelltown MGB green lid fortnightly
Canada MGB green lid fortnightly
Canterbury MGB green lid fortnightly
Fairfield no bin - bundle biannual or booked collection
Gosford MGB green lid fortnightly
Hawkesbury no service no service
Holroyd no bin - bundle biannual or depot drop off (Sundays)
Hornsby MGB green lid fortnightly
Hunters Hill no bin - bundle bimonthly
Hurstville MGB green lid fortnightly
Kogarah MGB green lid fortnightly
Ku-ring-gai MGB green lid fortnightly
Lane Cove MGB green lid monthly
Leichhardt MGB green lid fortnightly
Liverpool no bin - bundle booked collection
Manly no bin - bundle monthly
Mosman MGB green lid monthly
Marrickville MGB green lid fortnightly
North Sydney no bin - bundle booked collection
Parramatta MGB green lid fortnightly
Penrith no bin - bundle biannual chipping service
Pittwater MGB green lid 8 collections annually
Randwick no bin - bundle fortnightly
Rockdale no bin - bundle triannual collection
Ryde no bin - bundle booked collection
Strathfield MGB green lid fortnightly
Sutherland Round black lid fortnightly
Sydney no bin - bundle booked collection
Warringah MGB green lid/ bundle monthly
Waverley no bin - bundle fortnightly
Willoughby MGB green/ maroon lid weekly
Woollahra MGB green lid or Crate weekly
Wollondilly MGB green lid fortnightly
Wyong MGB aqua lid fortnightly

Source: Sydney Councils

RECENT COUNCIL INNOVATIONS

Woollahra Council is trialling a food scraps collection service
3,300 households in Vaucluse and Watsons Bay will be part of a two year trial, which, if successful, could be expanded across the entire Woollahra Council area. The residents will be asked to put all organic material – fish and fowl, fruit and vegetable, meat and dairy products from the kitchen, along with paper towel waste and tissues and all green waste – into their garden waste bin for kerbside collection. The bin will be collected weekly by a recycling firm that makes organic fertiliser (Source: Wentworth Courier, Apr 2006).

Blacktown and Fairfield Councils have gone alternative with UR-3R Process
Whilst Blacktown and Fairfield Councils still have recycling systems, they are the most new age Councils when it comes to rubbish, which is processed at the special Alternative Waste Treatment facility at Eastern Creek, operating under the Patented UR-3R Process (see Figure 1). This facility sorts any recyclables incorrectly placed in the garbage bin, processes all food and garden components of the garbage into compost and generates green electricity by capturing greenhouse gas and using it as fuel.

Fairfield and Blacktown Council do not offer a green bin service and all grass cuttings and garden prunings can be placed in the normal garbage bin.

The Eastern Creek facility even manages to salvage 95% of plastic bags in the waste stream. The plastic bags are ripped apart and picked up with wind sifting technology as part of the process. The plastics bags are bailed together and sold as raw material for plastics manufacturers.

FIGURE 1: GLOBAL RENEWABLES UR-3R Process® Description

Global Renewables has integrated a suite of the world's best commercially proven resource recovery technologies to create the Urban Resource - Reduction, Recovery and Recycling (UR-3R) Process®.

UR-3R Process®

UR-3R Process
Source: http://www.globalrenewables.com.au/en/ur3r-process/description/

WASTE GOING TO LANDFILL / COMPOSTING AND

WORM FARMS

Australia produces more municipal waste per person than any other country outside the USA.

Recycled and composted material should account for more by volume than general waste. On average the Australian household waste consists of:

  • 40-50% compostable materials
  • 30-40% recyclable materials
  • 20% putrescible waste destined for your garbage bin

The figures reported in a NSW Department of Local Government Publication show that 63% of household waste goes to landfill – nowhere near reaching the 20% target set by Resource NSW – and the volume of waste per person is increasing.
(Source: http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/comparatives/0304data.xls)

Adopting a simple Compost system or worm farm for organic materials can halve the waste going to landfill which helps reduce landfill size and methane gas emissions that are produced by the waste at landfills.  Organic waste is a valuable resource if managed correctly, be that through commercial compost operations or in the individuals backyard. 

A selection of compost bins and worm farms designed for backyards, unit balconies or indoor use can be purchased through www.greentech.com.au and www.bokashi.com.au and some Council websites.  Alternatively, most Councils offer information or free seminars to the public on how to compost or worm farm with some Councils also selling systems to residents.

Landfill is a dirty word so Councils and recycling Companies are constantly looking for new technologies for recycling of putrescible waste into energy, compost and other renewal materials.

There are signs we are heading in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go to achieve optimum recycling rates. In 2003 the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (Source: http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/summary_v2.pdf) found there was a 7% reduction in the total amount of waste disposed in the Sydney region since 2000 with the single largest factor being lower volumes of commercial and industrial waste. This report also stated that Sydney Municipal Kerbside recycling performance had improved with 92kg being set aside for recycling (excluding garden organics) compared with 84kg in 2000 and 30kg in 1991. Garden organics recovered increased to 50% in 2003 versus 40% in 1998.

RECYCLING RATES FOR SYDNEY COUNCILS

Table 5 summarises recycling rates across Sydney’s councils. Please note the data includes green waste and does not take into consideration those Councils recycling at alternative waste facilities for their non-recyclables

On average in 2004, Sydneysiders recycled 37% waste compared to 27% in 1999 and 18% in 1995. Some Councils have experienced enormous growth in recycling rates. For example Campbelltown Council increased from 7% in 1995 to 48% in 2004.
 
TABLE 5: Recycling Rates by Sydney Council

% of Waste Recycled by Council

2003/04

1998/99

1994/95

Ku-ring-gai Council

59%

29%

25%

Warringah Council

54%

47%

41%

Gosford City Council

54%

16%

13%

Hawkesbury City Council

54%

42%

16%

Manly Council

53%

55%

41%

Sutherland Shire Council

50%

29%

18%

Hornsby, The Council of the Shire of

50%

22%

17%

Willoughby City Council

50%

44%

19%

Camden Council

48%

31%

14%

Campbelltown City Council

48%

43%

7%

Lane Cove Municipal Council

46%

45%

37%

North Sydney Council

46%

40%

37%

Bankstown City Council

45%

12%

10%

Mosman Municipal Council

45%

46%

27%

Woollahra Municipal Council

44%

31%

22%

Pittwater Council

44%

37%

32%

Leichhardt Municipal Council

44%

35%

22%

Kogarah Municipal Council

43%

18%

21%

Hurstville City Council

43%

19%

18%

Blue Mountains City Council

42%

16%

9%

Wyong Shire Council

41%

39%

8%

Rockdale City Council

37%

26%

17%

Canada Bay City Council

36%

 

 

Randwick City Council

36%

24%

23%

Marrickville Council

36%

17%

13%

Burwood Council

36%

37%

24%

Parramatta City Council

35%

23%

13%

Hunters Hill, The Council of the Municipality of

34%

35%

25%

Waverley Council

30%

30%

21%

Ashfield, The Council of the Municipality of

30%

25%

15%

Canterbury City Council

30%

12%

13%

Botany Bay, The Council of the City of

27%

15%

15%

Baulkham Hills, The Council of the Shire of

23%

22%

14%

Ryde City Council

22%

20%

11%

Auburn Council

22%

8%

8%

Sydney, The City of

22%

14%

18%

Blacktown City Council

21%

14%

11%

Wollondilly Shire Council

20%

25%

7%

Strathfield Municipal Council

20%

15%

18%

Penrith City Council

19%

19%

13%

Holroyd City Council

19%

18%

11%

Liverpool City Council

16%

11%

12%

Fairfield City Council

12%

17%

9%

TOTAL SYDNEY

37%

27%

18%

Source: NSW Department of Local Government http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/comparatives/0304data.xls

RECYCLING TIPS

Simple recycling tips to follow. Fight the WARR on Waste!

  • To become a Best Practice Recycler ideally you’ll need a three bin system in your kitchen. One for COMPOST. Another for RECYCLABLES. The final one for WASTE. Plastic bags are ideal for waste but not compost or recyclables.
  • Go to www.IRECYCLE.com.au. Enter your local Councils name and print out your simple one page recycling guide. Unfortunately you can’t search by suburb or postcode because 12% of suburbs are controlled by more than one Council. Once again proving it’s not a perfect World – yet. Stick the tips on your fridge and follow them for each waste item you encounter. It only takes a couple of seconds until you learn the rules but it makes a difference.
  • A greater variety of plastic bottles and containers are being recycled by more Councils. Check the container for a recycling symbol with a number in the middle. Compare this number with your I RECYCLE guide. Almost half of Sydney’s Councils now collect numbers 1-7 with each number indicating the plastic resin from which the bottle is made.

Recycling Symbols

  • Clean out and rinse your containers to avoid contamination in the recycling process. So you don’t waste water in the process use the dirty dish or bath water. Food waste = contamination = not recycled.
  • Composting is at low levels but could really make a big reduction to the amount of unnecessary waste going to landfill as over 40% of all waste can be composted. Composting is suitable for non-citrus fruit and vegetable waste and grass clippings. Compost systems can be purchased at the I RECYCLE website or your local hardware store.

WHY RECYCLING AND REDUCING IS SO IMPORTANT

Recycling saves our precious and limited resources, extending the life cycle, rather than wasting resources forever to landfill. By recycling our renewable resources we are saving our non-renewables.  Participation in recycling is extremely important for the preservation of our world.    .

A good example of the benefits of recycling, one tonne (1,000kgs) of recycled paper saves …

  • approx 13 trees
  • 2.5 barrels of oil
  • 4,100 KWH of electricity
  • 4 cubic metres of landfill and
  • 31,780 litres of water because recycled paper uses about 99% less water than is needed to produce white paper from wood chips

Source: Visy Industries http://www.visy.com.au/about/about_faqs.aspx

Waste should be viewed primarily as a resource to be utilised by current and future generations, rather than as material for which society has no further use. So when you dispose of rubbish, ask yourself what can I Recycle?

Scary Stats

  • Prevention of waste or reduction of waste is even better than recycling! Just from their homes, each person in Sydney generates 400kg per person per year with 250kg of this going to landfill. That’s a total of 1.7 billion kilograms per year being collected by your friendly local garbo!

(Source: www.dlg.nsw.gov.au)

  • It is estimated that in 2000, almost 4.5 million tonnes of waste was disposed of in the Sydney Region to landfills. That’s approximately 1,000kgs per year per person so Kerbside collection is only 40% of total waste per person.

(Source: Resource NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2003 http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/Strategy%202003%20web.pdf)

  • The NSW recycling rate of newspaper is 77% which is the Worlds best recovery rate but not so good when it comes to plastics and other recyclable materials such as glass, plastic, aluminium and steel.  

(Source: Resource NSW Monitoring Progress in Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery in NSW http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/summary_v2.pdf)

  • 20 million Australians use an estimated 6 billion plastic check out bags every year. That is nearly 1 plastic bag per person per day or 300 bags per person per year. Less than 3% of plastic bags are currently being recycled.

(Source: www.deh.gov.au/settlements/publications/waste/plastic-bags/planet-ark/reducing.html)

  • At least 80 million plastic bags end up as litter on our beaches, streets and parks each year.

(Source: Planet Ark http://www.arrowcomputers.com.au/planetark.php)

  • When one tonne of organic waste is diverted from landfill, nearly a third of a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions is saved.

(Source: www.acfonline.org.au/news.asp?news_id=154)

  • Green waste combined with general rubbish produces methane gas at landfill sites. Methane is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

(Source: www.acfonline.org.au/news.asp?news_id=154)

  • A small piece of non-reusable glass the size of a 20 cent piece from light bulbs, wine glasses, ceramic plates, mirrors or window glass incorrectly placed in your recycling bin can result in contaminating over one tonne (1,000kgs) of glass

(Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/recyclingreality/default.htm)

  • According to research from the Paper Recycling Action Group of Australia, 9 out of every ten sheets of office paper are thrown away. This creates the ridiculous situation of recycled toilet paper manufacturers having to import used white paper!
  • Packaging used by people in public places represents more than 80% of the items collected on Clean Up Australia Day. In 2004, paper and cardboard items accounted for nearly 13% of the rubbish collected, plastic 37%, glass 12% and cans 13%

(Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/recyclingreality/default.htm)

  • Indeed around half of all our beverage containers - bottles and cans - are used and then tossed at food premises, shopping centres and entertainment and sporting venues where there are limited recycling services, no incentives to recycle and not much information on how to recycle.

(Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/recyclingreality/default.htm)

  • 33% of containers are recovered in NSW for recycling compared with 88-90% of containers recovered in SA where Container Deposit Legislation is in place. The review of Container Deposit Legislation in NSW found that a deposit-refund system would be likely to enhance Kerbside recycling in terms of improved financial performance rather than act as a hindrance.

(Source: www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2005/s1287472.htm)
(Source: UTS Beyond Recycling. An Intergrated Waste Manaagement Framework for Local Government)

REDUCING CONSUMPTION OF RESOURCES

  • A no junk mail sticker on your mail box saves 1,000 pieces of junk mail each year! Australians on average receive 8.2 billion unaddressed flyers, leaflets and catalogues in their letterboxes every year. Give no junk mail stickers to your friends too. (Source: www.acfonline.org.au/news.asp?news_id=154)
  • Addressed junk mail is also a waste problem but you can stop it by using the Australian Direct Marketing Association’s Do Not Contact Service Register at http://www.adma.com.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=1999
  • AVOID consuming non-recyclable materials and help break the cycle between waste generation and economic growth:
  • Buy only quality, long lasting necessities and avoid disposables. Always ask yourself, “DO I REALLY NEED THIS?”
  • Avoid unnecessary packaging and opt for recyclable packaging if possible.
  • Bring your own calico bags shopping and refuse plastic bags for single items like milk
  • Set your printer to at least 2 pages and draft quality to save paper and maximise the life of the printer cartridge but remember to change the settings for presentations
  • Reuse office paper by printing on the blank side
  • Offices have a lower recycling rate than households because there a lot of offices have only one general waste bin. There are generally three waste stream in offices so you’ll need 3 bins to start an office recycling system. Worm farms work well in office environments for managing food waste.
    1. paper
    2. recyclable packaging: plastic bottles and containers plus steel and aluminium tins
    3. food waste and non recyclable packaging
  • Buy 2nd hand products from ebay, freecycle or charity stores and offer hand-me-downs to family members and friends
  • Try to repair electrical goods rather than throwing them away
  • When you can, take packaging home for recycling instead of disposing of in general waste bins when you are out.
  • Always remember that RECYCLING IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND EVERYONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

REFERENCES

  1. Roy Morgan Research featured in The Australian, 4 May 2006 http://www.roymorgan.com/news/press-releases/2006/485/
  2. Roy Morgan Research Survey commissioned by Planet Ark(http://www.ecovoice.com.au/evonline/evo-25/recyclingweek-evo25.html)
  3. NSW Department of Local Government (http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/comparatives/0304data.xls)
  4. Planet Ark (http://www.planetark.com.au)
  5. Planet Ark Recycling by Council tool (http://www.recyclingnearyou.com.au)
  6. EcoRecycle (http://www.ecorecycle.sustainability.vic.gov.au)
  7. Australian Broadcasting Commission http://www.abc.net.au/science/features/recyclingreality/default.htm
  8. Packaging Graphics (http://www.packaginggraphics.net/plastic-recycle-logos.htm)
  9. Wentworth Courier, Apr 2006
  10. Global Renewables (http://www.globalrenewables.com.au/en/ur3r-process/description/)
  11. Department of Environment and Conservation (http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/summary_v2.pdf)
  12. Visy Industries (http://www.visy.com.au/about/about_faqs.aspx)
  13. Resource NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2003 (http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/Strategy%202003%20web.pdf)
  14. Resource NSW Monitoring Progress in Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery in NSW (http://www.resource.nsw.gov.au/data/strategy/summary_v2.pdf)
  15. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (www.deh.gov.au/settlements/publications/waste/plastic-bags/planet-ark/reducing.html)
  16. Australian Conservation Foundation (www.acfonline.org.au/news.asp?news_id=154)
  17. Australian Broadcasting Commission (www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2005/s1287472.htm)
  18. Australian Direct Mail Association
    (http://www.adma.com.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=1999)

LIST OF TABLES FROM THE NSW DEPARTMENT OF

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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Where do the Recyclable materials end up?
     
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worm farms
     
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