Australians are among the highest waste producers in the world. We generate almost 41 million tons of rubbish each year – that is about 1.9 tons from each of us. Half of this rubbish is either being dumped in the environment or sent to landfill where it cannot be recycled.
Recycling is the process of making or manufacturing new products from a product that has originally served its purpose. If these used products are disposed of in an appropriate, environmentally friendly way, the process of recycling has been set in motion.
Recycling helps extend the life and usefulness of something that has already served its initial purpose by producing something that is useable. Recycling has a lot of benefits and importance not only to us humans but more critically to our planet.
Some Interesting Facts:
- Every 10 tonnes of recyclable materials recovered is equivalent to taking 4 cars off the road permanently.
- Recycling one tonne of paper and cardboard saves 13 trees and 2.5 barrels of oil.
- Each aluminium can recycled saves enough electricity to run a TV for 3 hours.
- An individual who lets their daily newspaper go to landfill will cause 350 kilograms of extra carbon dioxide each year.
- Placing as little as 5 grams broken drink ware into your recycling bin is enough to contaminate an entire ton of recyclable glass.
- Each year household recycling in Victoria saves 8,960 mega litres of water alone. That’s the water consumption of 3,370,000 people for one week. SOURCE; Clean Up Australia Day fact sheet, July 2009
- Recycling conserves our natural resources, such as coal, oil, minerals and trees.
- Recycling removes the massive waste and amount of water and energy required in the production and manufacturing process, e.g. making aluminium from recycled material requires up to 95% less energy.
- Cuts greenhouse gases by reducing the amount of rubbish breaking down in landfill and saving energy during the production process.