Households good at recycling but commercial sector lags
FOR most Australians, recycling newspapers, aluminium cans and milk cartons at home has become second nature over the past few of decades.
However, Australian households and businesses are still sending almost 22 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year.
That's the equivalent weight of 416 Sydney Harbour Bridges being buried.
According to a report by Planet Ark released as part of National Recycling Week - which runs from November 12 to 18 - the recycling rate for packaging has soared from 39.2% in 2003 to 63.1% in 2011.
Paper and cardboard is the best performer with a recycling rate of 75.5%, and aluminium cans reached a peak in 2010 with more than 67% recycled.
But despite these changes the commercial and industrial sector is still throwing around a million tonnes of paper and cardboard into landfill every year.
Gladstone Regional Council is encouraging residents to actively participate in National Recycling Week this week.
Council's environment portfolio spokesman Col Chapman said National Recycling Week was an ideal way for residents to revaluate how they disposed of general waste and unwanted items.
"Residents can dispose of recyclables for free at all waste facilities in the region," Cr Chapman said.
"This includes car batteries, electrical goods, gas bottles, car bodies, motor oil and scrap metals."
Council also provides MobileMuster collection boxes at the Boyne Island, Calliope and Gladstone libraries, Calliope, Miriam Vale and Gladstone offices, Community Advisory Service, Agnes Water and Mount Larcom Rural Transaction Centres, Benaraby Landfill, Gladstone Waste Management Centre and Tondoon Botanic Gardens Visitor Information Centre.
For more on responsible recycling visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/web/guest/responsible-recycling or planetark.org.