South Australia’s recycling hits record level

South Australians have helped divert more than 3.59 million tonnes of material from landfill in the most recent reporting period.

As National Recycling week kicks off, Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the latest report of recycling activity in South Australia shows that 79.7 per cent of all waste generated was diverted from landfill.

“The 2013-14 report shows recycling activity in our state is having a significant impact on greenhouse emissions, by preventing the equivalent of about 1.13 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere – this is the environmental equivalent of taking about 257,000 cars off the road,” he said.

“It’s pleasing to see that South Australia continues to maintain the highest diversion rate in Australia.

“These results show the State Government’s waste strategy, financial incentives to encourage recycling and resource recovery and other supportive measures have helped to increase recycling activity.

“The total waste sent to landfill in South Australia fell to 0.914 million tonnes, down 9 per cent from 2012-13.

“On average, each South Australian recycles 2,134 kilograms of waste a year, which is one of the best rates in the country.

“The report also shows 997,000 tonnes of organics were recovered for recycling.

“This includes food, garden, timber and by-products from food processing industries.

“We can be proud that we continue to maintain a strong track record in sustainability, by saving energy, conserving resources and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to the environment.

“The Government’s strategy and the community’s response helps underpin a strong waste and resource recovery industry that employs almost 5000 people and is worth $1 billion.”

The State Government is finalising waste sector reforms based on widespread consultation with industry, which will help the sector further expand and create more job opportunities.