Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
NATIONAL RECYCLING WEEK 11-17 November
Recycling is a key activity in managing waste responsibly. But, when it’s combined with three other components to become the 4Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – it becomes a very effective way for each of us to maximise our resources and minimise waste.
Resource Recovery Gippsland encourages Gippslanders to rethink their approach to waste and resources by considering how the 4Rs can work at home, at school, at work. According to Resource Recovery Gippsland’s executive officer Matthew Peake, the region has a great record when it comes to recycling.
“Collectively, Gippsland generates around 485,500 tonnes of waste per year, with 70% recovered (recycled, reused or repurposed) and 30 per cent going to landfill,” explained Mr Peake. “Although the waste and resource recovery sector is adapting and innovating to maximise recycling in a changing market place, reducing what is generated in the first place is key to managing resources into the future. ”
Currently, approximately 25,000 tonnes of recyclables are collected from kerbsides across Gippsland, equating to around 200kg per household each year.
Over the next 20-30 years, Gippsland will be one of the state’s fastest growing regions which will present the sector with challenges and opportunities when it comes to minimising waste.
“Recycling is a big part of the waste management process,” acknowledged Mr Peake. “But it’s the practice of rethinking, reducing and reusing before recycling that will help us become more responsible and sustainable consumers.
“This will result in less material going to landfill and more resources being conserved or circulating back into the economy.”
National Recycling Week, November 11-17, is a key time to put Resource Recovery Gippsland’s 4Rs into practice.
Rethink your approach to what you need, want, buy and consume – your understanding directly influences your choices.
Reduce waste from the outset by using your buying power to shop smart and shop sustainably, for example products with unnecessary packaging. Reuse items as much as possible and move away from the habit of depending on disposable or single-use items. Remember, reuse includes borrowing, sharing, repairing and repurposing.
And importantly, make sure you recycle right.
“To maximise your recycling effort, know what can and can’t go into the recycling bin in your local government area,” emphasised Mr Peake. “And a big winner for the environment and the economy is, where possible, choosing to buy Australian products that are recycled, have recycled content or can be recycled.”