Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What a load of rubbish!

Today we went to the tip with a trailer-load of rubbish. This shed is the tipping floor at Mitchell Resource Management Centre. You back your car or trailer or truck up to the edge (where I'm standing), and unload into the pit, where workers retrieve anything recyclable or saleable, before the rest is pushed down towards the back wall. Trucks pick up the waste from under the chute, and take it to landfill.

Recyclables (including paper, metal, wood, paints, oil, whitegoods and car batteries) are separated for processing. Most of them are sent interstate for recycling.

In Canberra, we have two types of household bins: general waste (with a green lid, collected weekly from the roadside in front of your house) and recycling (cans, bottles, papers etc., with a yellow lid, collected fortnightly in the same way). Any larger items, or garden waste, you dispose of yourself - you can pay someone to take it away, or you can load up the trailer or car or ute and take it to the tip (for a fee) or the green waste depot (some are free, some have a fee) yourself.

Canberra generated over 800 000 tonnes of waste in the 2009-2010 year. Almost 588 000 tonnes (72%) of that waste is listed as 'resource recovery', which means it could be recycled or reused in some way.

Domestically we do a bit better: 85% of standard household recyclables (paper, plastic, glass and metals) and over 90% of green waste were recycled in the same timeframe.

But it's still a load of garbage!


Pierre BOYER said...

Recycle !


Julie said...

Karen, I am trying to organise a Meet-up for Australian bloggers. What is your email address, please?

Mine is