Recycling week comes around again

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With government, local business and the Canberra community all getting behind National Recycling Week 2018 (12-18 November), it’s no surprise to learn that the ACT is near the top of the leaderboard when it comes to the national war on waste.

Research conducted by Planet Ark has shown the ACT produces the second lowest amount of waste per capita in Australia, and has the second highest resource recovery rate.

Planet Ark’s recycling programs manager Ryan Collins says the key to moving into first place is developing a better understanding of what can and cannot be recycled.

“Despite 71% of people being confident in knowing what can and can’t be recycled, 61% would still like to see more information on these topics.”

This year, Planet Ark is setting out for National Recycling Week with the goal of resolving the confusion surrounding how to recycle correctly, and teaching us what happens to our recycling once it leaves our hands.

Surveys conducted by Planet Ark found the most common recycling mistakes made by residents were soft plastics, bagged recyclables and food scraps being placed in the recycling bin.

These mistakes cause problems at sorting facilities and lead to more recyclables going to landfill.

During National Recycling Week, the ACT Government will host a series of events including seminars and behind-the-scenes tours of some of Canberra’s waste facilities.

ActewAGL is getting behind National Recycling Week too, with the energy supplier doing significant work in the space.

Among ActewAGL’s energy saving solutions are the Big Business Light Switch, where, for either a small cost or none on occasion, they upgrade business lighting to more environmentally-friendly options. Since 2013, more than 50 tonnes of old inefficient lighting has been recycled as part of that scheme.

They also offer a rebate of up to $3,000 on heating/cooling system upgrades. Since mid-2016, 1,500 heating/cooling system have been recycled and replaced with more energy-efficient systems.

In addition, their Fridge Buy-Back program has recycled more than 6,000 old fridges since 2013.

A list of National Recycling Week events being run by the ACT Government can be found at tccs.act.gov.au/recycling-and-waste

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