We recycle at a rate of about 1,000 tonnes a day, or a little more than one-third of what we recycle, according to a report.
But what if we were to take all of the waste from our local businesses and put it into a recycling bin?
The report says that’s possible, but that’s not always possible.
“For example, a landfill site is located near a community centre where residents often use the waste for food or a small garden,” the report states.
“It is also possible that the waste may be placed in a bin or container, which would then be moved to the nearest landfill site.”
It says that a few of the sites it has identified do offer a choice of recycling options.
However, it says the majority of these are not sustainable, either because of the location or because of how much waste they are storing.
A waste collection business owner in Melbourne’s north, for example, says he’s found that recycling is difficult to do because it takes a long time and there is no guarantee that the bins would actually be cleaned.
“You can’t do it in one go,” he said.
“If you’re doing it in a large, enclosed area, you’re going to have to do it a lot more quickly.”
It’s important to note that the only sustainable way to recycle waste is by using the materials themselves, not by recycling them into new goods.
“All recyclable waste is produced at some point,” the paper states.
It also points out that many of the bins that are currently being recycled are actually old industrial waste, which means the material that goes into them may not be suitable for recycling.
“Most of the materials in waste containers are not suitable for reuse,” the analysis states.
What’s more, recycling a single bin is unlikely to be as efficient as recycling an entire waste stream.
“We found that waste recycling is more expensive, because recycling a bin takes time and the material used to make it is not as durable,” the study states.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Water, and Planning told News.
Com.au that recycling bins would require a new waste management system and new equipment, and that the Government has committed to making sure they are designed and constructed in a way that minimises environmental impact.
“These new systems will be tested in Australia to ensure they meet national standards,” the spokesperson said.
The Department of Industry, Trade and Innovation also confirmed to News.COM.AU that a new recycling system is in place and that all waste collected will be recycled.
“The Government has implemented the Waste Recycling Program, which provides funding to local councils to develop and implement a recycling program for the region,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“This program provides local councils with the financial and technical capacity to implement the recycling program, with an emphasis on developing sustainable practices.”
The spokesperson added that the current system is based on “a two-tier approach, with local councils receiving funding to provide a waste management service and the Department receiving funding for the recycling service.”
However, the spokesperson did not give a timetable for when that would be rolled out.
“There is a need for further testing and improvement of the existing systems,” the statement said.