For more than 20 years, Australia has had a government policy to address waste management. This began with the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, which was introduced by the Council of Australian Governments in 1992, and further solidified in the National Waste Policy in 2009.
Despite these efforts, the national Department for the Environment has noted that recycling work is not keeping up with the level of waste generated in the country. Waste levels have increased by 31 per cent between 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, reaching a total volume of 43.8 million tonnes.
With projects like the National Waste Policy in place, there are many opportunities to facilitate recycling and reduction of waste at home and in the workplace.
Sorting it out at home
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2013 experimental estimates on waste production showed that while 97 per cent of Australian households conduct recycling of some kind, there was still a significant level of waste that could potentially be recycled.
This included 47 per cent of household waste which was organic, and a further 23 per cent which was paper and cardboard.
According to the ABS release, masonry materials like brick, mortar and glass made up the largest amount of waste generated across households and industries. Among the combination of industry and households, the second largest group of waste was organic, which comprised 24 per cent of the total. The third largest was paper or cardboard, with 12 per cent of the total.
This equates to 6.4 million tonnes of paper or cardboard wasted during the 2009-2010 period. While there was 25.2 million tonnes of waste repurposed overall, there was still 24.9 million tonnes that went to landfill.
One way of addressing this, particularly in industry settings, is to install larger scale recycling bins with appropriate sorting categories. The glutton recycling station can facilitate up to four separate and easily identifiable waste or recycling streams at once. And with two 212-litre containers, this equipment can hold a high volume of excess product or material before it needs to be emptied.
Strategies for better recycling
The Department of Environment has implemented a series of 16 strategies for waste management. While much of this is to do with landfill operations and emissions, there are strategies that can be adopted in the Australian workplace through the use of appropriate equipment. The includes people understand which materials can and cannot be recycled, as well as the correct method of disposal of recyclable waste.
This indicates that employers and business owners in the construction industry could benefit from the implementation of appropriate recycling materials and receptacles. The same could apply to office spaces, where the use of recycling – waste bins allows employees to easily dispose of paper waste.
With the ABS research suggesting that Australia’s population is expected to reach 35.5 million by the year 2056, it is important to use good waste management practises in the workplace and at home. The use of Sitecraft’s wide range of recycling and waste disposal units can form a fundamental part of anyone’s waste management strategy. These include bin tipping equipment and wheelie bin containers.