Recycling is one of the easier and most effective things we can do in our everyday lives to reduce our environmental impact and protect Australia’s beautiful natural environment. Here are five things you may not know about how recycling works, what can be recycled, and why it’s so important.
A wider range of items can be recycled than most people realise, though some take a little more effort than others. For example, Girl Guides Australia runs a national cork recycling program, key components of mobile phones can be recycled, and Planet Ark collects and recycles used printer cartridges.
It takes 75% less energy to recycle glass than to make it from scratch, and glass can be recycled time and time again without any loss of quality. For this reason, glass should never be sent to landfill.
Batteries contain many recyclable materials, including lead and nickel, but only 4% of batteries in Australia are recycled each year. This is doubly disturbing because the chemicals in batteries are highly toxic if they leach out into groundwater from batteries which are sent to landfill.
Up to 98% of a discarded television or computer can be recycled, but Australians send e-waste to landfill at an incredible rate each year, wasting this valuable opportunity. If you care about the planet, it’s important to make the effort to dispose of your e-waste properly.
Fluorescent lights are environmentally friendly while they’re in use, consuming much less energy than equivalent incandescent bulbs, but the fact that they contain mercury means they can cause terrible environmental damage if we discard them into landfill. Currently, only 1% of fluorescent lights are recycled in Australia, which means that 99% are taking their mercury straight to the local landfill.
Handy hint: If you’re concerned about the environment and want to make sure your batteries, electronic waste, and other recyclables are handled properly, do your research before hiring a rubbish removal company. Make sure the company you choose can answer your questions about proper disposal of recyclable items and will work with you to ensure that your rubbish is disposed of in an environmentally conscious way. In the greater Sydney area, call Any Rubbish on 0419 635 238 for more information on our commitment to sound environmental practices.