The Changing Face of Recycling in Australia

8 September 2014
 Categories: , Blog

Recycling has changed in leaps and bounds over the years. What started out as collecting and selling of cans has grown into a multimillion dollar industry spanning the globe. Australia is no different, as the recycling industry has diversified over time. This is a good thing as a report by Planet Ark states that Australia is one of the world's largest producers of waste.  It is therefore not surprising that recycling is big on the agenda of many, including government agencies.

The Changes

Data on the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that almost every household in the country, 98 percent, practices some form of recycling.  Some of the most obvious changes over the years include:

  • An increase in the amount of newspapers recycled. Since 2008, Australians have recycled more newspaper than any other country in the world with a rate of 1 billion newspapers annually.
  • Recycling of e-waste continues to grow with programs such as the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, which makes recycling of old electronics such as computers, television and similar products easier. This government and industry program helps the recycling effort by providing free recycling drop-off points for electronics.
  • The government is also actively involved in recycling, offering incentives for these efforts. For example, in 2009, the National Waste Policy was devised to set out the waste management and resource recovery (recycling) objectives of the country up to 2020.
  • To help the recycling efforts, there are kerbside receptacles in place to make it easy for Australians to put out their waste for recycling. This allows householders to drop off waste such as newspaper, plastic, glass and tins for collection without any additional cost.
  • Recycling has helped to create new jobs. Companies that collect discarded e-waste such as computers can refurbish them for resale or to donate to people in need. It has led to changes in plastic manufacturing where recycled plastic is reprocessed for use in various industries.
  • An increase in the reuse of items due to recycling is a big part of the recycling effort in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Standard, 46 percent of recycled waste has been reused in other industrial processes.
  • Many recycled parts are exported to other countries to be reused. Old computer circuit boards for example, can be reused in other electronic products. The cost of refurbishing these items is normally a lot less than making new ones.

With all these changes has come massive growth in recycling overall with statistics showing an 825 percent jump between 1996 to 1997 and 2002 to 2003. 

To begin recycling more, contact a company like Collins Recycling.