In general, Australia has improved in the area of recycling greatly in the past decade, now recycling over 50% of household garbage. This means that at least half of our population is actively recycling, whilst there are opportunities for growth with the remaining half.
Obviously, we are not perfect. We may be leaders in recycling newspapers, but when it comes to other land-filling waste products, we fall short. So where do we rank currently and how much more do we need to learn?
Data collected shows that Australia ranks quite well when compared to most European countries, but falls short when it comes to the leaders in recycling such as Germany, South Korea and Sweden.
So what can we learn from these countries? What are they doing that we could adopt to ensure that we improve our recycling?
Germany is so advanced in its recycling effort that it is ranked at the very top. One of the things Australia can learn from Germany is to offer incentives to households that recycle. Also, they’ve been known even to have waste collection centres to collect a wide range of items and objects, even including dead animals in which they have found a way to produce usable products such as lip balm and soap.
South Korea takes recycling equally seriously. Residents must have four bins in which each bin will have a designated product to be recycled. What Australia can learn from this is the food waste solution the South Koreans have come up with. They recycle the food by drying it out and repurposing it for livestock feed.
You can expect Sweden to use technology within its recycling system. First off, they have sorted bins all around the country, which are no further than 300m distance away from each. However, the best thing Australia can learn from Sweden is that it burns its waste products and uses the energy to power homes. It has been reported that the power generated can power over 250,000 homes.
As you can see, we’ve come a long way, but also have a long way to go to match it with the world’s best recyclers. We have the resources – we just need everyone on board to recognise what efforts are required and commit to initiatives founded by our foreign friends.
Want more information about how you can better recycle? Get in touch with us anytime!
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