Recycling is too much hassle. No-one else bothers to do it right. It all just goes to the tip anyway. Right? Wrong!
Recycling rates in Tasmania are continually increasing, with some of the lowest contamination rates in Australia.
As National Recycling Week approaches, it is heartening to consider that a new kerbside recycling service in Tasmania’s North West is recording a miniscule four per cent contamination - a fantastic result.
And it may get even better with Waratah-Wynyard Council starting a kerbside recycling service from the start of the year.
Veolia operates material recovery facilities in Hobart and near Devonport where recyclables deposited by local collection trucks are sorted manually and automatically with sieves and magnets.
Many items - glass, aluminium, steel, many plastics, paper and cardboard - are recycled in Australia. While markets and technology dictate which materials are sent overseas for reprocessing.
A large range of products are now made entirely from recycled materials or with a component of recycled content.
A Tasmanian firm, Hazell Bros, has found a ready market for recycled glass bottles and jars crushed into "sand". The material is used in a range of civil engineering applications, including asphalt mixes and pipe embedment. As well as creating a second life for used glass, it decreases the demand for virgin sand.
Many local government councils in Tasmania are now using recycled plastic infrastructure such as jetty planking, picnic seating, bollards and signs. Manufactured in Victoria using recycled plastic from homes and businesses, these items are durable and close the recycling loop.
Almost everything can be recycled but not necessarily through the household recycling bin. Special recycling services are available for e-waste, fluorescent tubes, mobile phones batteries and even tyres.
A range of recycled content products will be on display at the Sustainable Living Expo this weekend at Hobart’s Princes Wharf in the lead up to National Recycling Week (8-12 Nov).
The EPA Division will be represented at the Expo and at a Sustainable Housing Forum being organised by Future Tasmania.
National Recycling Week is a good time to reinvigorate your household and workplace recycling activities to ‘do the right thing’ and make sure you recycle everything you can in the right bin.
And remember, the next time you put out empty Vegemite jars for recycling, they could turn up in the new road surface soon!