In Australia, the average family will produce enough rubbish to fill a 3 bedroom house every single year, making Australian’s one of the highest producers of waste per head of population in the world (coolaustralia.org). Of this rubbish, over half of the products end up as waste in landfill – including products that could have been recycled or re-used!
THE FACTS ABOUT LANDFILL
One of the major issues with landfill is the impact on air, water and land quality. Landfill gas, mainly methane, is produced by decomposing organic waste which contributes to global warming when released to the air (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and will provide detrimental impacts on future generations (Environment Victoria).
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SO YOU RECYCLE?
You may think that all the products you place in the ‘yellow bin’ end up recycled, however an interview with Garth Lamb by the ABC in Canberra recently revealed that “If one person in that whole street puts the wrong material in their bin it can contaminate a whole truck load, and in the worst-case scenario we can’t recycle that.” What this effectively means is that a whole lot of waste in our landfills could have been reused or recycled, lowering our contribution to the toxic gasses released into our environment as a result of landfill.
So how can you minimize your impact on the environment and future generations? The best solution: Reuse your waste. Reusing glass bottles and jars, replacing Styrofoam cups with ceramic mugs for your daily coffee and ensuring you take reusable bags instead of using plastic bags will do a world of difference. Although you can’t control what happens after you try to recycle your products each week, you can control the amount of products that don’t end up in your bin and can make them useful once again.