South Australia has achieved the highest diversion rate of any state in Australia, according to the newly released Recycling Activities Survey Report.
Environment Minister David Speirs said South Australia diverted 4.49 million tonnes of material from landfill between 2017-18.
“The state has once again achieved the highest diversion rate of any state in Australia. The increase in our diversion rate is driven by an increase in state infrastructure projects,” Mr Speirs said.
“While all of the long-term key indicators are trending in the right direction, we actually saw a slight increase in waste to landfill from 2016-17 to 2017-18, as well as an increase in waste generation per person, showing we need to remain vigilant.”
According to the report, 87 per cent of the states recovered material is recycled locally.
“Despite considerable impact on recycling as a result of China’s National Sword policy, South Australia’s recycling industry is transitioning by implementing measures to improve the quality of the materials recovered and diverted, and by educating the public on the importance of recycling,” Mr Speirs said.
“Our recycling results are world leading, however, we still have room to improve. South Australia set an ambitious target in 2003 to reduce waste to landfill by 35 per cent by 2020 and we’re at 29 per cent.”
Over 118 individuals from South Australian organisations involved in resource recovery were surveyed for the report.
The survey asked participants to provide the value per tonne of each material stream reprocessed by their organisation.
Using this data, the report lists metal as the greatest contributor to the market value of resource recovery at $177 million, followed by organics at $101 million and cardboard and paper at $40 million.
The overall market value of the South Australia resource recovery sector is estimated at $356 million.
Additionally, the survey highlights masonry and soil as the highest recovered material streams at 30 per cent, followed by organics at 24 per cent and metals at seven per cent.
The report was prepared by Rawtec for Green Industries SA.