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Trailer Trash | Australia-Wide Recycling Guide

At Trailer Trash we see the positive effects of recycling every day. Not only does recycling save households hundreds of
dollars a year, but the benefits to our ecology in the form of energy-savings and pollution-reduction are immense.

If, like us, you care about global warming, wildlife, and the ecosystem, then read on to find out a bit more about
how to be a better recycler.

Australians are the second highest waste producers in the world, generating
almost 41 million tonnes of waste every year.

3.3 million tonnes of food is thrown away instead of recycled every year - the equivalent of a quarter of the nation’s
food supply.

How Much Waste Does The Average Australian Produce?

Waste Graph

Despite this, Australians recycle an impressive 52% of their waste.

Although they recycled only 30% of their steel cans, and 67% of their aluminium cans, Australians recycled 75% of their
newspapers, making them one of the best paper recyclers in the world.

Why Recycle?

  • 20 cans can be produced with the energy it takes to produce one can from raw materials.
  • You can run a TV for 3 hours with the energy saved from recycling one can.
  • 17.5 million steel cans are recycled each week in Australia - enough to build 900 cars
  • Recycling 1 tonne of newspaper saves 3 cubic metres of landfill space.
  • Making paper from recycled materials uses 99% less water and 50% less energy than if produced from raw materials.
  • It takes 2.5 tonnes of radiate pine to make just one tonne of newsprint
  • Recycling one plastic drink bottle can save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • There are an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of ocean.
  • It takes up to 500 years for plastic bottles to break down in landfill.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and retains its quality a million times over.
  • Recycling one tonne of glass saves 34 litres of oil.
  • According to the Container Recycling Institute, recycling 1000 tonnes of glass creates slightly over 8 jobs.
  • The second largest source of methane in Australian landfills is organic waste.
  • Methane has a global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide.
  • For every kilo of food recovered, 56 litres of water is saved.

Australian recycling by state graphic for each, point to site

Northern Territory

841 kg per person - % rounded down to zero.

Coca-Cola forced the closure of a container deposit scheme, and there are plans for a nuclear waste site.


Queensland

47% of waste was recycled, 1930 kg per person.

Highest amount of waste per capital of any Australian State.

South
Australia

66% of waste recycled, 2090 kg per person.

Despite having the best recycling stats in Australia, SA axed their Zero Waste scheme.

New South Wales

52% of waste was recycled, 2230 KG per person.

Wasting food costs the average NSW household $1000 a year.


Victoria

62% of waste recycled, 1980 kg per person.

Australia is the 7th worst polluter in the world, with Victoria producing the most.

Landfill

Decomposition Chart

  • Australians send enough steel to landfill every year to make 40,000 fridges.
  • 88% of all computers and televisions bought in Australia ends up in landfill.
  • 80 million cans end up in landfill every day.
  • Even biodegradable items break down a lot slower (if at all) in landfills due to the layering of r materials on top of them and a lack of air.

Recycling Is Easy

So you want to recycle but you don’t know where to start. With 93% of Australian households having some kind of kerbside collection service, and many states offer container deposit schemes.

Here’s a quick guide to recycling bins.

  • Leaves
  • Shredded
    Paper
  • Plant Cuttings
  • Twigs And
    Branches
  • Aerosol
    Canisters
  • Pizza Boxes
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Milk Cartons
  • Plastic or
    Composite
    Packaging
  • Drinking
    Glasses
  • Meat
    Packaging
  • Meat
  • Pet Excrement
  • Rocks and Soil
  • Building Materials
  • Car Parts
  • Food
  • Crockery
  • Foam
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags can’t be recycled and take a long time to biodegrade. Re-use them rather than throwing them away.
  • Separate bottle caps from bottles - they’re often made from different plastics, so mixing them contaminates other plastics.
  • Buying goods made from recycled materials is just as important as recycling.
  • If it’s plastic, and can be scrunched up in your hand like a wrapper or a bag, it isn’t recyclable. Harder plastics like yoghurt pots can be recycled, however.

TTrash