After scrapping, recycling and disposing of their waste, the average Australian household will find it difficult to make ends meet.
The nation’s recycling rates are among the lowest in the world, with just one in five Australians choosing to recycle their waste.
Photo: AP/ABC But the state’s recycling rate is still lower than the world average.
With the national average rate of one in four households choosing to reuse their waste on the compost heap, this is a situation that needs to change.
“The average household recycles about 1,000 tonnes of waste a year, and in Australia that’s about a third of that,” Professor Nick Pouw, a research fellow at the Australian National University’s School of Environment and Resource Management, said.
“But it’s not enough.”
“It’s not just the amount of rubbish we’ve collected, it’s also the amount we’ve used up.
We’ve wasted up to half of that in landfill, which we can’t recycle.”
Mr Pouvw said it was important to understand the reasons why Australian households recycle.
“If you look at recycling rates in other countries, the US and Germany, it generally means there’s some amount of waste that’s either reused or recycled,” he said.
“In Australia, we recycle at rates of one per cent.
That’s lower than in the US, but it’s a small percentage of what we recycle.”
The average Australian recycles one tonne of rubbish every week Source: ABS The main reasons for the low recycling rate are lack of facilities and the time needed to put it all away, he said, adding that some households would choose to recycle a certain amount of their rubbish on a regular basis rather than recycling more frequently.
“So it’s actually a situation where the recycler’s the one who has to put up with a lot of frustration,” he explained.
“I think the solution is really simple.
Put all your waste in a bin.
Put it away, and the rest of it, and your household can just collect it when they’re done.”
In an ideal world, Mr Povw said, all the waste in Australia would be recycled into the environment.
“There’s really nothing more important than that,” he noted.
“We’d have a lot more waste, and that would just be a waste that we could take out of the landfill and put into a landfill somewhere else.”
Mr Williams said his family would recycle as often as possible to make sure the recycling rate was good.
“My son would recycle a little bit more often than I did,” he added.
“He used to say, ‘If I’m not doing it, someone else is.'”
He would recycle around 500 tonnes of household waste a week, and was planning to recycle about 400 tonnes this year.
He said he was encouraged by the new policy and was hoping for better times to come.
“It was very exciting to see that they were doing the right thing,” he told ABC Radio Perth.
“Hopefully the future is going to be better.”
The recycling rate of households in WA is less than one in eight Source: ABC The new policy will also help ensure people can get a good deal on recycling.
“They can get $15 for a plastic bottle that’s gone into the landfill, or $40 for a recycled glass bottle,” Mr Williams added.