The need to conserve materials, reuse products, reduce food waste, recycle, prevent litter and safely manage toxic waste, is an essential part of sustainable living and reducing our overall impact on the environment.
Australians are some of the most enthusiastic recyclers in the world, but we can all do much more to avoid waste in the first place. The plastics pollution crisis has highlighted that over-consumption, a throw-away culture and less durable products, are contributing to major environmental problems. Micro-beads and micro-plastics entering our waterways and marine environments is clear evidence that we need to adjust what and how we consume.
The solutions exist and by sharing knowledge, ideas and examples at a local level we can work towards higher levels of waste reduction, reuse and recycling across the Alpine Shire. And by working cooperatively with like-minded community groups, council and government agencies, we can make a difference that is environmentally responsible, economically sensible and socially desirable.
The key to effective waste avoidance and resource recovery is to adopt the waste hierarchy i.e. avoid, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Landfilling materials is a waste of resources and can create other ecological problems including toxic leachates from landfill sites polluting water, soil and air.
The following pages provide some guidance, general rules of thumb and links to other information resources that can help you to cut waste, as well as extend the life of products and materials through reuse and repair so we can keep them going longer.
If you have examples of how you’re avoiding waste, recycling or reusing products and materials at home, at school or at work, then let us know so we can share the good news.
Planet Ark also operate the RecyclingNearYou website which features Australia’s largest recycling and reuse information hub with more than 20000 recycling points.