Our recyclables are collected from our kerbside and go to a materials recovery facility to be sorted and prepared for market. Steel, aluminium, plastics, glass and paper are then used to make new products.
Many of these will be made into the same product and can be recycled again and again. It can take only 60 days after recycling an aluminium can to have it back on the supermarket shelf – using 20 times less energy than making a new can from raw materials. This is called closed loop recycling.
Some are made into different recycled products, such as steel cans into bicycles and drink bottles into carpeting, park benches or fibres for clothing.
125 plastic milk bottles makes a 140 litre wheelie bin
25 two litre plastic bottles makes an adult fleece jacket
When you decide to ‘buy recycled’ you close the recycling loop.
Recycled materials play an important role in our economy, reducing our reliance on virgin materials and providing jobs and businesses in the reprocessing sector. The revenue from the recycled materials helps offset the collection costs and reduces the landfill bills for our councils.
- Australians send enough steel cans to landfill to rebuild the Sydney Harbour Bridge every year – about half of all the steel cans they use.
- Recycling one tonne of steel saves 1,131kg of iron ore, 54kg of limestone and 633kg of coal.
- Recycling steel requires 80% less energy than steel made from virgin material
- It takes 95% less energy to make aluminium from scrap than from virgin materials
- Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours
- Glass can be recycled over and over again, it does not deteriorate with recycling
- A glass bottle bought today would take 4000 years or more to decompose – even longer in landfill
- Each tonne of glass made from recycled materials saves 1.1 tonnes of raw materials
- Recycling 1 glass bottle saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours, a computer for 25 minutes, a TV for 20 minutes, or a washing machine for 10 minutes
- Australia manufactures more than 1 million tonnes of glass per year but only about 33% of this is recycled
- Plastic is made from non-renewable resources
- Nearly every piece of plastic EVER made still exists today
- It can take up to 500 years for plastic bottles to break down in landfill.
- Plastic, such as plastic soft drink bottles, can be recycled into: clothing, timber substitute, mud flaps, traffic calming equipment, water meter covers, flower pots, crates and pallets, garden edging, bags, fiberfill for sleeping bags, toys, stuffed animals, rulers and more
- 25 recycled PET bottles can be used to make an adult’s fleece jacket
- Every year each household throws away 20% of the food they buy or more than $1,000 in food
- Our garbage bins have 40% food scraps which if recycled could make 900,500 bags of compost a year
- The average Australian household throws away $1,000 in food every year
- Australians waste 4,000,000 tonnes of food each year
- There are many ways to reduce food waste: plan meals, check use by dates, use leftovers and store food correctly are just a few
For more see below
The SHOROC partner councils and Kimbriki have lots planned for National Recycling Week.
Find out more about how to be a better recycler – good for the environment and your pocket.
What is National Recycling Week all about?