Blog: Strategic Sustainability Consultants in National Recycling Week
Last week was National Recycling Week in Australia, and I was lucky enough to engage in a number of activities over the course of the week.
I started off my Monday at the Recycling Plant in Hume. I was amazed to see a pile of recycling reaching metres high which was only three days’ worth of recycling. This is keeping in mind that 12% of what reaches household bins in the ACT should actually be put in the recycling bins.
At the Recycling Plant, an OzHarvest representative came to speak about organic waste in the ACT. 36% of the waste thrown into our household bins is actually organic waste, which causes an incredible amount of methane in the atmosphere, creating an impact on our climate. This waste can be drastically minimised by the provision of green bins.
Green bins were recently trialled in Canberra’s south and have been rolled out in the surrounding suburbs as well as Weston Creek. By mid-2019, the green bins will have reached territory-wide rollout.
However, for businesses which generate organic waste which could be donated instead of being thrown into the bin, OzHarvest is making incredible inroads working with these businesses to assist in the donation of this food. OzHarvest also assists these businesses by ensuring they have adequate legal protections in place.
OzHarvest in the ACT collects approximately 9 to 10 tonnes per week of food from businesses around the nation’s capital. 68% of this is fruit and vegetables. Instead of going in the bin, this food is given to people who need it the most around the nation, tackling the issue of food insecurity in Australia.
At the Recycling Plant, I also had the chance to see how the alchemy worked, separating different types of plastics and recyclable items. I also had a chance to view the glass crushing process and found myself leaving with a better understanding of what happens to recycled materials after they have left households and commercial organisations. I also had the chance to chat about how they are recycled by organisations such as Visy.
On Wednesday, I visited the Green Shed in Mitchell and met Candice from RePsyched who is passionate about creating amazing artwork, furniture and design pieces out of recycled materials. We had a fantastic chat about how businesses can use recycled artwork and design pieces to fit out their workspaces as part of their commitment to sustainability. I look forward to working with Candice further!
I concluded National Recycling Week at the Re-Group Container Deposit Scheme Fyshwick Depot on Friday where I received a wonderfully informative tour from Area Manager Jorge.
Jorge showed us an up-close view of the alchemy at work and explained the Container Deposit Scheme in detail and how simple it is for both business and households. The scale of the depot was incredible impressive, but according to Jorge, this is just the beginning for his team. Re-Group is also participating in a fantastic social sustainability program by hiring people with disabilities to assist in running the depot. The tour was a great insight into a large-scale enterprise making a meaningful difference on an economic, social and environmental level.
If you are interested in finding out more about how your business can make a more meaningful commitment to recycling, contact a team member at Strategic Sustainability Consultants today!