Landfilled organics result to significant GHG emissions and a waste of valuable nutrients.
Banning the landfilling of household and commercial food and garden waste would stimulate jobs growth, divert millions of tonnes from landfill, generate compost, sequester carbon in soils and reduce Australia's GHG footprint.
Waste is like a river that flows downhill to the cheapest price. Landfills are like big vacuum cleaners - they suck up waste and resources indiscriminately. If we continue to supply cheaply priced landfills, then that is where our waste will go.
There will always be a place for well-run landfills. But if we want to create a circular economy, then the first and most obvious thing we need to do, is stop the one-way flow into landfills.
One of the most interesting Coffs Waste sessions this year was the COAG panel discussion addressing the forthcoming export bans on glass, plastics, paper and tyres where Minister Trevor Evans made a number of interesting key points.
The National Waste Action Plan 2019 was agreed by Federal, State and Local governments setting national targets and actions for reducing waste to landfill. To achieve this, industry, waste generators and local government need the right market signals and regulations to drive the necessary investment.
It is more than two years since China National Sword and the limitations on export to Asian recycling nations, kicked in.
Recycling has not collapsed but it has taken some pretty big hits. So where are we up to now?
Following up on Virginia Brunton's well received "Where to with food waste" article, Mike Ritchie discusses FOGO in MUDs.
Mike argues that collecting FOGO from MUDs is not just feasible, it is necessary. Getting food and garden waste out of all households will:
- reduce #waste to #landfill by 50% or more
- save up to 2.7% of Australia’s GHG emissions and
- produce millions of tonnes of soil enhancing compost.
The waste and recycling industry contributes close to 3% of Australia’s direct emissions. However, recycling abates much more by capturing the embodied energy of the recovered materials.
We can create a more sustainable Australia by reducing emissions, increasing recycling and growing new green jobs.
MRA managing director Mike Ritchie recently sent Minister Kean an open letter recognising the State's successes in waste management and identifying key concerns and potential solutions for supporting resource recovery post COVID-19.
Organics to landfill make up more than half of all waste to landfill in Australia. They are also responsible for a fair amount of the waste sector's GHG emissions.
How can we create environmental benefits and stimulate the economic growth sorely needed post COVID-19?