Australia produces a lot of waste. Figures from 2019 show the average Aussie produces half a ton of trash each year, while the typical Australian household throws out 1.2 tonnes of waste in the same period. Add it all together and you get a whopping 78 million tonnes of waste each year.
A lot of this waste could be recycled and here at Anything Environmental, we’re dedicated to making it simple for everyone to recycle. In case you’re not already on board with why recycling is important, here are four ways it makes a big difference to our planet and your pocket.
By recycling, you’re helping to reduce the number of natural resources we use. Recycled goods are repurposed into new products, which means less raw resources are taken from the earth and fewer resources are used in processing. Figures from the Institute of Scrap Recycling show that recycling metal alone could reduce harmful gases by up to 500 million tons. Recycling materials helps preserve habitats for the future.
When it comes to manufacturing, using recycled materials saves energy. Recycling metal reduces mining waste by around 97% and reduces water consumption by up to 60%. Recycling means less energy spent on extraction, refining, transportation, and processing.
Because recycling reduces the number of raw resources that need to be removed from the earth, it reduces the amount of water and air pollution that these processes cause. Recycling also reduces harmful gases that cause the earth to overheat – kerbside recycling alone can save up to 386,000 tonnes of these gases, which is like taking 64,000 cars off the road for twelve whole months.
In 2019, 20.50 million tonnes of waste ended up in landfills. Landfill sites are a major headache, producing toxic waste that can leach out into surrounding soil and waterways, as well as harmful gases that damage the air. Waste in landfill breaks down slowly, so the trash we toss hangs around for our children and grandchildren to deal with. Landfill is simply hiding a problem that we need to tackle.
Recycling can reduce all these problems significantly. Whether you choose to use a Containers For Change scheme or get your recycling picked up from your home, you will make a difference. It’s time for us all to make the switch to recycling.