Waste Management resources
There are many useful links to assist with residential and non residential operational Waste Management:
- Plant Ark’s Business Recycling site identifies facilities and services to recycle around 90 products including computers, mobile phones, office furniture, fluorescent lights, carpet, food packaging etc. Go on – make a list of local centres close to your business – and set up a system to recycle these items. There are drop-off centres, and other businesses listed that will pick up the listed waste items for recycling.
- Zero Waste South Australia’s www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au site offers many practical and nationwide leading suggestions for waste management.
Improving Waste Management practices
Encouragingly the new development in residential and non residential waste management is the increasing separation of food waste from garbage streams.
Currently in most Australian municipalities other than in South Australia food scraps are not separated from garbage going to landfill. These food scraps will go to landfill and the valuable nutrients within the organic material is lost. In addition food scraps in landfill contribute significantly to the 90% of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills that are a result of decomposing organic material (source Zero Waste SA).
Activating procedures to separate food organics (often 50% of domestic garbage) can have major impacts on reducing the negative green house gas effects of landfill. Until municipal green waste collection services can accommodate food waste as occurs in South Australia (food waste can be placed directly in green bins, wrapped in paper, or placed in compostable bags), directing food to bokashi bins (which can sit in a kitchen and accelerate the initial stages of composting), compost bins or worm farms are the most practical solutions for dealing with food waste outside of the garbage stream. These options are good, but rely on the energy and drive of keen people, and are not likely to have as wide an impact on food separation as would a separate municipal food waste/green organics collection service.
Other areas of waste management where simple improvement can occur is in avoidance of excessive packaging – a simple action we can undertake in our own lives and at work.
In cases where avoidance is not possible, then a greater understanding of what can be recycled will make a difference in reducing landfill waste.
Appropriate signage can help with this. To download and print recycling signage visit Planet Ark’s business recycling site.
A better understanding of product and food packaging types can also help to improve resource recovery and reduce permanent waste to landfill. Generally rigid plastics labelled from 1-6 can readily be recycled and should go into co-mingled municipal and private recycling bins. However, plastic films, plastic bags, lightweight polystyrene, such as used for meat trays, packaging (including foam packing ‘peanuts’) and hot drink cups should not be put in municipal recycling bins. Refer to the guide below.