How to Deal with the Recycling Crisis in Australia

The world’s most populous country, China, has been the largest recyclable waste material importer in the world, taking more than 30 million metric tonnes of recyclable waste every year.

As recently as 2017, Australia exported more than 600,000 tonnes of recyclable waste to China.

In July 2018, however, the Chinese Government announced that the nation would outlaw any foreign recyclable waste due to rising environmental contamination and public health decline. Their new policy is set to outlaw 24 categories of solid waste. On top of all this, they are now demanding only separated plastic items that have a secondary market in China.

This radical change led Australia to spend more time and money on recyclable plastic separation suddenly. Now the Australian Federal Government has pledged $20 million to improve Australia’s recycling industry.

Recycling industry conditions in Australia

Australia’s domestic recycling industry has been facing plenty of challenges in regards to its recyclable waste recovery attempts. Nationwide, Australians produce 67 million tonnes of waste every year, including 2.5 million tonnes of plastic; this amounts to 102 kilograms per person.

Here is a video by Westpac Banking about how the recycling crisis affects to Australia:

Compared to other developed or developing economies, Australia has been generating more waste but recycling less because of its over-reliance on shipping recyclables to China. Recyclables are being mindlessly dumped in landfill and stashed in warehouses without a functional, long-term solution.

Currently, there are 193 waste recovery and recycling facilities in Australia, but this number is insufficient. Right now, the technology demands glass, plastic, and paper all be efficiently washed, separated, and prepared for recycling. The conscious-cleansing recycling system is reliant on outsourcing, with little to no domestic investment.

Ways to deal with the recycling crisis locally

In other first world countries, recycling rates are comparatively lower than the waste generation. Only 37% of the waste is being recycled in Europe, and in the United States, the rate is only 34%. Recycling is a convoluted process, and it needs to be rooted at a local level.

Dealing with the recycling crisis

Transparent wheelie bins

This is an innovative proposal to use see-through wheelie recycle bins as a part of more mindful waste disposal practices. This approach has the effect of making people feel obligated to use the correct receptacle for waste disposal.

Smart bins

As the second-most populous city in Australia, Melbourne has continued to upgrade and modernise its waste management policies.

The latest addition to the waste management policy is the introduction of new smart bins to reduce the overflow of waste in Melbourne’s street bins. The smart bins have been placed in the busiest locations and are specially selected to keep track of rubbish sources.

These smart bins come with many advantages in terms of effective and efficient waste recycling procedures as well. With fewer collection visits and traffic interruptions, the whole waste sorting process becomes a lot easier and faster.

Reducing plastic packaging

So far, proposed waste recycling policies have revolved around the existing landfill and recycling industries. All these problems come from one deeply rooted habit we’ve been exercising for decades; large scale plastic packaging production.

Use better alternatives, like shopping bags made out of cloth or canvas in place of plastic bags for example.

Make use of skip bins

More than 73% of litter worldwide, including a massive amount of recyclable plastics, is found at beaches. These waste products are highly contaminating to the environment and the whole eco-system.

It’s a good idea to look into a professional skip bin hire services nearby. Professional skip bin services will allow you to strategically dispose of waste and send it to the professionals to sort and recycle properly.

There are many good reasons to consider hiring skip bin services for large-scale waste management at the local level. For better waste management, you can check out the skip bin hire plans and policies at Metro Bin Hire.

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