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Nov—06

What goes around comes around - Get involved in Recycling Week 2018.

Australian Recycling Week was founded in 1996 by Planet Arc, to communicate about the importance of recycling. Now in its 23rd year, Recycling Week 2018 will take place from the 12th to 18th of November.


The theme for this year is - From Waste War to Recycling Reboot, a re-focus on the narratives surrounding recycling and a look into what happens in the Australian recycling process.

Why is Recycling important?

Australians are one of the largest waste producers in the developed world, and particularly as populations increase, the quantity of waste going to landfill is unsustainable and creating substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. Approximately 60% of Australia's waste was recycled in 2014 - 2015, but we still need to do better to make a visible difference.


Organic and green waste is a significant contributor to landfill greenhouse emissions. On average every Australian household sends 180 kilograms of organic waste to landfill, which equates to approximately one-fifth of food purchased in Australia going to landfill. This equates to over $3000 food waste per household, on average per year. It is of great concern as when organics decompose in the landfill, deprived of oxygen, 1 kg of decomposed organics can produce up to 0.17 kg of methane which is a considerable concern. While Methane can be collected for energy not all landfills are equipped to do this, and the sheer volume of waste is of great concern.


The environmental benefits of recycling over sending waste to landfill include:

  • Reduction in greenhouse gasses
  • Reduces the need for natural resources
  • Less energy is used in transforming recycled materials versus raw materials
  • Less litter impacting the environment and wildlife
  • And many more


Why does recycling week matter?

Interest in sustainable practices and recycling have continuously grown as it became undeniable about the impact our waste habits are having on the environment. However, recycling effectively is not possible if people are not informed about what products can be recycled, where and how. Further, with international issues creating doubt around whether recycling is still effective a ‘recycling reboot’ this Recycling Week will show the public what happens after the bin, and prompt them to re-educate themselves about how to recycle correctly.

How to get involved

We encourage you to use recycling week to re-educate yourself, and those around you, about best recycling practices and why they are so important; simply to be more effective we need to be well informed. Do you know the recycling options and processes in your territory? Regional council websites are usually great places to familiarise yourself with facilities and recycling guides.


Get involved with these Recycling Week activities or plan your own event:

Friday File Fling

Declutter your office and recycle all of the excess paper. Recycling paper is a simple yet effective tool for reducing workplace waste. This is also a good opportunity to see if there are any opportunities to reduce needless printing.

Buy it Back Day

On the 17th of November practice mindful purchasing; shop for second-hand items or items made from recycled materials. Donating and purchasing items in good condition from second-hand stores is a great way to increase the lifespan of an item instead of buying new.

The Big Aussie Swap

Planet Arc is encouraging community groups, councils and individuals to host a swap event. This can be a great time to empty your garage, wardrobe or spare room of useful items you no longer need or use. Find swaps and other events here.

How can my organisation take part?

Recycling week is a great time to do an audit of your waste habits. You may be surprised how much money and resources can be saved by changing your waste processes as well as considerable reductions in your organisation's environmental impact.

Read here about the money and time savings of open plan recycling compared to desk bins.


The commercial and industrial sectors are Australia’s biggest source of landfill waste, with 13 megatonnes of waste sent to landfill in 2014-15. This means offices, retail, hospitality and manufacturing have the greatest opportunity to make an impact. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Introduce new recycling streams ie. soft plastics or organics
  • Start a green team to educate other staff to reduce contamination in your office recycling schemes
  • Are your bins placed in practical places? Check out our guide on bin placement to optimise the use of Method recycling bins, if you are lucky enough to have them
  • Share your recycling initiatives on social media. A great way to promote recycling week is to show people all the great things you are already doing, tag us - @methodrecycling
  • Host your own Friday File Fling
  • Read here on how to organise a clean-up event in your neighbourhood
  • Recycle unused furniture by on-selling or donation to charity furniture stores