How to recycle 100% of household waste?

What is in your bin?
It is not a waste of time talking about WASTE.
Australia is a country of abundance but does that mean we can produce a lot of waste? What is regarded as waste should be seen as a resource. We (SpurTopians) walk and talk the "5R" mantra,
Refuse - Reduce – Reuse - Recycle – Repair.
Here are our tips for what you can do:
  • Refuse - Refuse is first and most important. If going shopping, we refuse a plastic shopping bag. Though it could be made from biodegradable material, it had to be manufactured (usually from plants growing where rainforest was destroyed). Use fabric shopping bags rather than plastic bags.
  • Reduce - Opt for less packaging, loose or bulk produce, shop at farmers' markets
  • Reuse – multiple use (glass jars for home made preserves)
  • Recycle – Recycle should be more or less the last option! Recycling 100% of waste is achievable. In fact it is easy to do so. There would be no need for  a general waste (rubbish) bin. Everything is recyclable - paper, plastic, glass bottles and tins in a recycling bin, organic waste into compost or a worm farm. Soft plastic packaging such as cling foil, bags, and other plastic which is not acceptable in a recycling bin, can be recycled in a special recycling bin in every Coles supermaket and is converted into plastic material for making children's playground equipment.
  • Repair – Fix broken stuff to get longer use out of it or buy stuff which is expected to last longer.
- Give away unwanted stuff – Freecycle – offer stuff for free.
- Use cloth  instead of disposable nappies.
- Purchase products which are made to last.
- Up-cycle - make new use from stuff which others regard as garbage. (a wicking pot made from a milk container and chucks cloth) 


We Spurtopians  have reduced our waste generation to a bare minimum and this waste is virtually 100% recycled. And our redundant general bin we reused as a hot water tank for a  home-made solar hot water system. 

Did you know:
- The average Australian family of four people generates enough rubbish during a year to fill up a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling.
Australians are the second highest producers of waste, per person, in the world with each of us sending almost 690kg of waste to landfill each year (The United States is the highest waste producer)
- For the average Australian household, over $1000 of food is thrown away each year ($8 billion in Australia)
- A garbage truck running around a few suburbs and collecting rubbish, every week, drives an equivalent distance from Brisbane to Sydney and back.
- 60% of household waste is compostable

7 comments:

  1. Well done Roman and Jana in showing us how it's done. Great ideas for ways of reducing our waste, I'll be taking it up myself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So timely to read this. I am sitting here writing about waste particularly plastic on fresh produce and I just sent out an invite to a clothing exchange which is on your list. No Freecycle here in country NSW. I really appreciate your point that recycle is a last option.

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  3. Terrific advice, we'll definitely share on the paleo meetup group page on Facebook :)

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  4. That garbage truck you mention driving the equivalent of Brisbane to Sydney and back (2,000km) every week consumes around 45 litres of fuel every 100km travelled(1) making 900 litres for the week. One litre of diesel produces 2.6kg of carbon dioxide(2), so that truck emits 2.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide every week.

    Your recycling and avoidance of general waste pickup is having a much greater impact on the environment and climate than you imagine.

    (1) Denne T., R. Irvine, N. Atreya and M. Robinson (2007). Recycling Cost Benefit Analysis: Final Report. Prepared for the Ministry of Environment (New Zealand). Covec Limited, Auckland NZ. p.16

    (2) http://www.sunearthtools.com/tools/CO2-emissions-calculator.php

    ReplyDelete
  5. Terracycle has options for recycling items many people put in their landfill bin: http://www.terracycle.com.au/en-AU/

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  6. Hey!
    I really like your blog and the ideas you have shared about recycling .

    There is general belief that all waste products which gets managed or recycled is damaging to the environment and to people's health.

    That is not correct. What we dispose, if we look carefully there are many waste material, which after going through waste management process are beneficial to the soil.

    The use of such beneficial waste products can be helpful in making agricultural land more fertile.

    You can also hire rubbish collection companies for
    recycling your waste.

    Thanks a lot buddy!
    For sharing your ideas .

    Keep doing good work.
    God bless U!

    ReplyDelete

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