South Australia (SA) is maintaining its high recycling standards, as residents helped to divert more than 3.59 million tonnes of material from landfill in the 2013-14 reporting period.
Coinciding with the start of National Recycling week, the latest report of recycling activity in SA shows that almost 80 per cent of all waste generated is now diverted from landfill.
The report shows recycling activity in the state is having a significant impact on greenhouse emissions, by preventing the equivalent of about 1.13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking about 257,000 cars off the road.
Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said it was pleasing to see that SA continues to maintain the highest diversion rate in Australia.
“These results show the State Government’s waste strategy, financial incentives to encourage recycling and resource recovery, and other supportive measures have helped to increase recycling activity,” he said.
“We can be proud that we continue to maintain a strong track record in sustainability, by saving energy, conserving resources and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to the environment.”
The total waste sent to landfill in SA fell to 0.914 million tonnes, down 9 per cent from 2012-13. On average, each SA resident recycles 2,134 kilograms of waste a year, which is one of the best rates in the country.
The report also shows 997,000 tonnes of organics were recovered for recycling, which includes food, garden, timber and by-products from food processing industries.
“The Government’s strategy and the community’s response helps underpin a strong waste and resource recovery industry that employs almost 5,000 people and is worth $1 billion,” added Minister Hunter.
The SA Government is currently finalising waste sector reforms based on widespread consultation with industry, which will help the sector further expand and create more job opportunities.