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20/12/2020
Data paves the way for a stronger recycling system

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Every year, Sustainability Victoria captures household kerbside and industry waste data. These two annual reports help it have a greater understanding of the performance of Victoria’s recycling system as well as industry and household trends and opportunities. This information is then used to improve its processes and infrastructure to transform the recycling sector into one that everyone can have faith in. 

With the breadth and quality of the data, Sustainability Victoria has a greater capacity to predict and monitor Victoria’s waste. Through Recycling Victoria, the State Government is investing $7 million to modernise its waste data over the next four years. To transition to a circular, climate-resilient economy, it’s key to obtain high-quality data that is both transparent and holistic. The Government will have more opportunities to monitor progress and use insights to allow effective decision-making in product design, material use, reuse and recycling, and safe and effective waste disposal. 

There’s been a positive change observed in the two annual reports examining how waste was managed in Victoria in the 2018-19 financial year. It’s important that the recycling process begins at home when you place the correct items in your recycling bin. Data from all 79 municipalities in Victoria shows there have been significant environment benefits from organising recycling properly in the home. 

Some key findings include the fact that 443,000 tonnes of green waste was processed. This eliminates up to 102,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases – the equivalent of 27,000 cars off our roads – by diverting this waste from landfill. Households should also be proud that over the past 18 years they have been sending less waste to landfill. Annual waste to landfill per person has dropped by 51kg since baseline data was released in 2001-02. Just in the past five years, waste to landfill has dropped an impressive 13kg per person. Since the baseline data was recorded, more recyclables and organic material have also been collected via kerbside services. Another impressive accomplishment came with material collected for recycling increasing by 11kg per person. 

These are just a few examples of how pivotal it is to correctly recycle at home. You can make a difference. And there is always room for improvement. The data shows the opportunities we have and the impact we can make when we rethink our way of doing things – what we choose to make, buy, use and recycle. Get to know what you can and can’t put into your recycling bin; visit www.recycling.vic.gov.au/can-i-recycle-this to determine if an item can go in your recycling bin or if it needs special attention. By reducing waste to landfill, we also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Victoria’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. 

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