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September 14, 2009

Whyalla News

Recycling rate on the rise

About 550kg of waste per person is expected to be sent to the local landfill for the 2009/10 period.

This is a 50 per cent decrease compared to two years ago.

Whyalla City Council waste and recycling manager Craig Pedler said in 2008/09 the city had a diversion from landfill at a rate of 48 per cent and 14,449 tonnes of waste at an average of 620kg per person was landfilled.

Mr Pedler said this was a 38 per cent decrease in waste sent to landfill and more than a 100 per cent increase in total tonnage of materials diverted from landfill.

"It is very difficult to compare total diversion rates with other areas as it is dependent on what figures are used and what is classed as diverted," Mr Pedler said.

"What can be compared though is waste to landfill per person, as that is a true comparison."

Mr Pedler said with support from residents the figure could improve further with less waste going into the landfill.

He said if all households used the three bins accurately, work would become easier at the landfill and sorting would take less time.

The latest recycling activity in South Australia has recorded a diversion rate of 69.8 per cent - the highest in the past five years which equates to taking about 234,500 passenger cars off the road.

Environment and Conservation Minister Jay Weatherill said the State's population passed the 1.6 million mark during 2007/08 and the total waste generated, including recycling, rose by 4.5 per cent.

He said there is now 705kg per person going to landfill each year, compared with 833kg in 2003/04 - a drop of more than 15 per cent.

"Recycling improves South Australia's environment by saving energy, conserving resources and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere," Mr Weatherill said while making the announcement last week.

"South Australia's recycling efforts in 2007/08 prevented the equivalent of approximately 1.02 million tonnes of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere - which equates to taking about 234,500 passenger cars off the road."

Recycling activity in South Australia in 2007/08 showed that more than 20 per cent of packaging recovery was via the container deposit scheme.

Any effect from the increase in refund from five to 10 cents will not be seen until the 2008/09 year measurement.

The report follows a number of developments on waste and recycling, including the introduction of the plastic bag ban, the increase in the container deposit and the $3 million Recycling at Work program, which is helping small and medium-sized businesses recycle.

"South Australia has the nation's only container deposit scheme, which together with the Government's policy support for recycling, has made the State an attractive place for the recycling industry," Mr Weatherill said.

"This is why we are well-positioned to increase reuse and crack down on materials going to landfill.

"These latest figures show South Australians are keen to do their bit for the environment by recycling - and they illustrate the important environmental benefits their efforts are achieving."


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