One billion single use coffee cups are sent to landfill every year. Sounds like a lot but this represents less than 0.0004% of the waste generated in Australia per year.
So, what can we do to deal with coffee cups so that we can focus on significant streams like organics (particularly food), which represent around 50% of all waste to landfill in Australia?
MRA’s Mike Ritchie was invited to join the Ideas 2170 panel run by Liverpool City Council and Western Sydney University at WSU’s CBD campus on 19 November 2019.
Mike and the panel discussed key waste streams and options for improving waste management outcomes for local councils.
Through the Bin Trim program, MRA and Modern Shoes were able to divert close to 30 tonnes of waste from landfill, saving the business $21,600 per year.
The Queensland Government recently opened the Regional Recycling Transport Assistance Package (RRTAP) grants program offering up to $250,000 in funding for businesses and local government organisations to help fund the costs of transporting recyclable material from regional Queensland to facilities (within QLD or interstate), where it can be recovered or processed and turned into new products.
Green Industries SA recently opened the Recycling Infrastructure grants program offering up to $500,000 in funding for industry and local government organisations to install infrastructure and provide innovative approaches to increase the recovery of resources and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill each year.
Sustainability Victoria recently opened the Bioenergy Infrastructure Fund grants offering a total of $750,000 in funding for government organisations (including state, local and federal), community organisations, businesses and social enterprises over two streams; Infrastructure and Business case or feasibility/technical study.
The Australian Commonwealth has achieved a first. A Minister for Waste (and Environmental Management) was announced by the Morrison Government. In the 200 years since colonial settlement we have not had a Minister with Waste in their title. I hope that ushers in a period of attention and reform.
Following up on his earlier Circular Economy article, Mike Ritchie reviews the European Union Circular Economy Action Plan report of 54 actions and adjusts those actions to propose an equivalent action list for Australia.
Australian landfill levies are on the move, with significant changes in Queensland and South Australia. The trouble with waste disposal, however, is that it tends to flow to the point of cheapest disposal. Just like water, waste flows downhill to the lowest point.
A circular economy is necessary to minimise landfill, increase resources recovery and protect our natural environment. A strong local reprocessing sector will also generate new jobs, support the economy and safeguard Australia from international developments such as China’s National Sword. Mike Ritchie outlines the key drivers for a strong Circular Economy in Australia.