Australian households and businesses encouraged to keep valuable resources out of landfill


National Recycling Week is just three weeks away, and in the lead-up Planet Ark is aiming to remind Australians, including those from Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, that much of what we currently send to landfill is valuable material that could be reused, repurposed or recycled.

This year’s theme “What goes around, comes around” is all about providing simple tips that enable Australians to keep those valuable materials in circulation, whether at home, work or school.

Last year, Planet Ark research for the annual waste reduction and recycling campaign revealed Australian households are potentially sending nearly 2.5 million tonnes of unnecessary waste to landfill. An estimated nine to 18 per cent (441,000 tonnes conservatively) of all material sent to landfill by households is likely recyclable, while a massive 41 to 52 per cent (2,000,900 tonnes conservatively) could be composted at home or organic processing facilities.

Fighting food waste and ensuring packaging is correctly recycled therefore form a major component of this year’s National Recycling Week resources and activities.

Planet Ark chief executive Rebecca Gilling said this year Planet Ark is asking Australians to pause and think about what they are currently sending to landfill and ask whether it really is waste after all.

“We have come a long way since National Recycling Week was established in 1996, but there is still more we can be doing to ensure valuable resources don’t end up wasted in landfill, especially when it comes to food waste and recycling our packaging,” she said.

Running from November 13 to 19, National Recycling Week provides an opportunity for residents and workplaces to learn simple methods of reducing their environmental footprint and preventing waste. Residents can host or join recycling themed events, brush up on their recycling knowledge with educational resources, learn about new developments in recycling policy and technology or discover tricks to reduce what they are sending to landfill and ensure resources don’t go to waste.

National Recycling Week was founded in 1996 to help Australians improve their recycling knowledge and build better recycling habits. Since then, the annual recycling rate in Australia has increased from just seven per cent of all disposed materials to more than 60 per cent.

Planet Ark has a number of tools and tips in the National Recycling Week Resource Hub to enable community groups, councils, households and workplaces to get involved and start reducing waste.