November 4, 2008
Recycle – and recoup cents. It makes sense.
Each year, there are approximately 540 million refundable containers sold in South Australia. South Australians return 470 million containers for recycling.
South Australia has significantly less litter than any other state, which is a huge benefit to the community, the economy and the environment, and is the only state with a container deposit scheme.
How did this all come about, and how does it involve you?
Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) was introduced to the state in 1977 and has proven successful in reducing and promoting resource recovery.
The scheme allowed people to collect a deposit of five cents for each beverage container they returned to a recycling centre. As of September 1, that has now increased to 10 cents to encourage more South Australians to recycle.
More than 69% of recyclable waste destined for landfill is diverted for recycling in this state. Materials to be recycled are taken to recovery facilities or recycling centres where they are sorted. They are then compacted, baled or binned for transport to reprocessing factories. Manufacturers use these materials to make new products. While 82% of materials are processed in SA, most paper and steel is sent interstate or to overseas processing facilities. Making products from recycled materials generally produces less pollution, including greenhouse gases, and consumes less energy than manufacture from virgin materials. Recycling reduces the need for new waste disposal facilities. This has both economic and social benefits and recycling creates jobs in collection, sorting and reprocessing.
What can you recycle?
Containers for flavoured milk and fruit juice, soft drinks, vitamin drinks, sport drinks, iced teas, beer, alcoholic sodas, spirit-based mixers and some wine-based beverages.
YP Recycling in Kadina is a regional depot for the “Super Collectors” and, as such, collects and processes product from Clare, Port Broughton, Stansbury, Warooka and Minlaton.
These yards are independently-owned, and YP Recycling’s role is in transport, and processing product into cost-effective sized bales of 200 kilograms, holding as many as 14,000 containers in a 1200 x 800 x 800 block.
According to Neil and Sue Drogemuller of YP Recycling, a busy week would see the Kadina yard purchase upwards of 250,000 items and send off 25 tonnes of glass cullet (broken bottles) to Adelaide in a semi-tipper. The glass is sorted into three colours — white, green and amber.
“Regular audits reveal about five stubbies to a kilo and between 65-70 aluminium cans to the kilo,” they explained.
“A million units of recyclable items a month is a lot of counting — although some customers even have them counted for us!
“Thankfully, most customers are organised with tops off plastics and have separated the glass, plastics and paperboard containers.
“Larger service clubs and hotels have been issued with crates and bales to help with efficiency. Hotels have crates which hold 32 cans each so we don’t have to count individual cans, which means we can offer a quicker service.
“Due to poor advertising and small print, some people are unaware of the deposit that applies to some products — so look carefully!
“Some high density plastics such as small Yakult bottles and steel juice tins (such as tomato and pineapple juice) attract a 10 cent deposit.
“So look before you throw, and join in recycling, help the environment, and add to your wallets in the process.”