Happy National Recycling Week!

Recycling. It’s important, it’s easy these days and it’s broader (and possibly more confusing) than ever before.

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Firstly, I have to start by reminding you all that recycling is the second-last resort for items you no longer need – the one right before landfill. It is still an energy intense process – think of the transport from the recycling truck, through to the re-manufacturing process. But it’s still better than landfill. The “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra has been expanded to (in order of priority):

  • Refuse. Just don’t get the item in the first place.
  • Reduce. Take or use less of it.
  • Reuse. Do something else with it, so that you don’t need to throw it away nor buy something new for that ‘something else’.
  • Rot. Can you compost it, put it in the worm farm or feed it to the chooks?
  • Recycle. Send it off to be made into something new.

Brad Gray from Planet Ark was on the ABC Breakfast TV Show on Sunday morning talking Recycling Week, and gave these interesting statistics.

  • Between 1996 and 2015, Australias waste output rose by 170%, when our population only rose by 28%.
  • Only 3 – 5 % of batteries are currently recycled, despite the heavy precious metals in them. In Katanning you can drop off your batteries to the Library, Landcare or the Recreation Centre for recycling.
  • 50% of waste going to landfill is organic – such as food waste or garden clippings. Get those compost bins going folks!
  • Each Australian produces a whopping 647kg of landfill per person per year – one of the highest rates in the world. How embarrassing!

Side note as I ponder this last point: This week (a pretty ordinary week), our family domestic rubbish output is about 300g. Add a bit extra in for the weeks that the rubbish output blows out (such as has recently with birthdays and guests staying!) and that multiplies out to about 5kg / year per person in our house. This may sound good but that doesn’t include any waste we generate elsewhere, such as at work, or the waste produced as a result of the manufacturing of any goods we purchase. Being that we try to reduce our generation of waste across all these choices, I wonder what our total waste output is compared to the 647kg average…?

For those of you in Katanning – take a read of this fantastic summary from Katanning Landcare about where you can recycle a huge range of things in Katanning. Then do it! http://katanninglandcare.org.au/where-to-recycle-those-tricky-items-in-katanning/

If you’re ever confused, check with your local council about what you can recycle. If the information on their website isn’t clear, ring and ask. Chances are someone else is confused too, and this helps to clear it up for everyone! The more we can divert from landfill, the better!

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5 thoughts on “Happy National Recycling Week!

  1. Pingback: Blog | katanning eco-house

  2. I live in a rural area of Kansas, and there is no curbside recycling out here the way that most U.S. Cities and even the town closest to us offers. I have to separate out my recyclables, bag them (reusable bags!), then drive 40 miles to the recycling center in the closest town that offers one. If I can do that once a month, I firmly believe everyone can recycle. I take my recycling and my neighbor’s once a month; she goes one other time during the month so it doesn’t pile up too much. There used to be giant recycling bins outside of our local supermarket, but they’ve taken them down because so many people were just putting their household trash in there.
    Btw, I’m enjoying your blog. You write well and your entries are interesting. Good job!

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      • We live about four miles from the nearest town, which only has 3000 people. Recycling isn’t affordable for the trash companies out here. I don’t think they break even on it in the nearby bigger city, but everyone expects recycling so they do it. Out here, they just can’t afford to. So we are on our own.

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