Waste Management is a key issue for conservation across the country but right here at home there are many programs we can implement and changes we can make to the way we view and manage waste on a day to day basis that can provide immediate benefits to the environment.
Local Government Authorities (LGA’s) manage our waste and if we live in an urban area, we are fortunate enough to have curbside collection of both general waste and recycling that makes the task of managing our waste a little easy for us on a day to day basis.
There are a few key things we need to remember when it comes to waste management and recycling:
- General Waste includes anything that cannot be recycled, composted, sent to an opportunity shop or to the recycling centre shop (if your region has one). Remember though that chemicals, paints and the majority of industrial substances and materials cannot be disposed of via the General Waste bins. For more information contact your LGA about how to dispose of these non general items (http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/local-government-directory/search-the-local-government-directory.html)
- Curbside Recycling Bins are for the disposal of specific items. Most curbside recycling bins will have a list of items that can be included on the lid. At times we are tempted to include all plastic items and metals ect believing that we are doing the right thing by sending as much of our waste to recycling however sometimes our best efforts may be doing more harm than good. Recycling sorting facilities are designed to sort and process specific items and the addition of these items that are not suitable can in fact damage the equipment and increase the time required to sort the items resulting in more cost to operate the facility and less items sent to be remade into new materials. Also, please do not dispose of your recycling items in plastic bags as this also hampers the process and chances are the items you have sorted, rinsed and disposed of, may not end up being recycled after all. For more information on what can be included in your curbside recycling bin follow this link: http://www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/recycling
- Other Recycling: Most LGA’s now have designated Recycling Centres at the Refuse Site. These centres will assess your waste when you arrive at the Refuse Site to see what metals, electrical items and other goods can be processed for industrial recycling in addition to the salvage of items in workable condition that can be sold in the recycling shop/salvage yard. If you are unsure of what can or can’t be recycled or reused, just ask the staff at the Refuse Site when you arrive and they will let you know. We are fortunate now that waste is managed in a manner where reuse and recycling takes a high priority resulting in a greater benefit for the environment and the economy.
- Green Waste: Most Refuse Sites now have dedicated Green Waste mulching and composting facilities meaning that when you take a trailor or ute load of vegetation matter to the site, it will be processed and provides a viable product that can be purchased and used throughout the region.
- Compost: Not all people will be able to install a functioning compost bin at their home due to lack of available space but if you can do so, please consider purchasing a compost bin or creating your own compost area to process your food scraps, garden cuttings, lawn clippings, shredded documents ect. By following a few simple ‘do’s and don’t’s’, you can create compost right in your backyard and your garden will thank you for it. For more information on composting follow this link: http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/LivingGreener/composting.html