Australia is a country gifted with stunning natural beauty and beautiful people. However, it is not without flaws. The waste generated by an Australian household, business, or industrial estate accounts for millions of tonnes annually.
We all know that most of these waste materials do not end up where they should be. If it is not recycled, it decomposes in our landfills or drifts in the ocean. Then there’s this particular type of waste that should receive special treatment—green waste.
Organic or green waste materials contribute to global warming. If it is not disposed of properly, it will wreak havoc on the environment. Green waste should never be taken to our landfills.
We can all help keep our green waste from ending up in landfills or oceans by learning from the statistics below.
What is Green Waste?
Although we all love a well-manicured lawn and garden, “green waste” is mostly the leftovers from our meals. It can either be composted or thrown away. But with our busy schedules and other everyday obligations, they end up in our rubbish bins.
The issue with green waste is that it frequently ends up in landfills. As rubbish decomposes, it emits harmful chemicals. And these chemicals combine with waste liquids to create leachate and other landfill gases.
The most common green waste we produce comes from households, commercial, and industrial businesses. Listed below is the biodegradable waste generated from the following sources:
Garden and Lawn
- Grass clippings
- Old stumps
- Tree branches
- ..and other unwanted indoor plants
- Home renovation projects,
- Construction and demolition activities, such as treated and untreated wood
- Waste wood and pallets from the furniture industry
- ..and more
- Peels and rinds
- Rotten fruits
- Vegetables such as bagged lettuce and salad
Green waste, as you can see, is most likely waste that we consume and use in our daily lives. Because of this, we all find it difficult to reduce our consumption and dispose of this waste.
On the other hand, when we put in extra effort, green waste can help improve soil quality, maintain soil fertility, and even help those in need. But first, we’ll reveal some startling facts about green waste in Australia.
Statistics on Green Waste in Australia
Waste or rubbish in any form is an increasing and growing problem in Australia and across the globe. There is no denying it, given the availability of items that can be delivered to our doors with just a phone call.
And despite these devastating detrimental effects of irresponsible disposal and consumption, we continue to ignore them.
Here are some waste accounts of how we use and consume organic and green materials, whether it’s in our homes or businesses.
- Australian households’ abundance of waste
Australian households generate over 12.4 million tonnes or 16.3% of rubbish every year. Of 12.4 million tonnes, approximately 42% or 6.4 million tonnes account for organic waste.
Every Australian household generates plastic and organic waste in the following ways:
- Organics made up more than half or 6.4 million tonnes of household waste
- 55% or 3.1 million tonnes of food
- 70% or 2.7 million tonnes of organic garden produce
- 47% or 1.2 million tonnes of plastics
- 72% or 1.2 million tonnes of total glass
- Approximately 90% or 247,000 tonnes of textiles
- Australian households bin hundreds of dollars worth of food
A report says approximately $8.9 billion of waste was generated by Australian households annually in 2018. Our country ranks fourth worldwide for food waste, with each person wasting nearly 300 kilogrammes per year.
According to an article from the Food Bank, the average Australian household wastes 28% of food, estimated to cost 3,000 AUD per year.
- New South Wales holds the highest household waste rate
Glenn Wealands, head of the client experience at Rabobank, the rural lender, compiled a report on food waste. It says that, among the states, New South Wales had the highest average household waste, coming in at $922 per household.
Furthermore, Millennials are the most wasteful generation, wasting $1,200 in food annually. Families with children, who are likely to refuse the food prepared, come in second.
- Australians dispose of edible food
According to the National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study, 70% of Australia’s consumed 7.6 million tonnes of edible food each year is wasted. Simply put, one in every five bags of groceries purchased is discarded, amounting to approximately 312 kg per person.
- Green waste is the emitter of greenhouse gases
According to Our World in Data, a study by Poore and Nemecek (2018) discovered that nearly one-quarter – 24% – of food emissions are caused by food lost in supply chains or wasted by consumers. This means that food waste accounts for approximately 6% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
Our homes and restaurants are essential players in food waste, contributing significantly to landfills and waste streams. Green waste dumped in our landfills decomposes, emitting methane, a potent gas that contributes to global warming. This is not a localised issue; it is a global problem wreaking havoc on the environment.
Green waste problems are becoming more prevalent in every community across the country. So why don’t we all pitch in to help solve the problem? Recycling and waste management may seem like something we do once in our lives.
Take small steps and be consistent. If not regularly maintained, your green waste can quickly become something we all regret. We can all help by disposing of our rubbish by the country’s stringent rubbish collection regulations. The solution to this problem begins with us.
Learn how to avoid food waste and find creative uses for leftovers and other green waste materials. If in doubt, contact your Sydney rubbish removal company.