Home' InDaily : April 25th 08 Contents Green Up your house & garden! Sustainable landscaping and gardening - whatever the weather! -- Sheryn Pitman Sustainable Landscapes Project. Sustainable living in a heritage 1870's cottage - innovative design and construction solutions to water use, heating and cooling -- John Maitland, Energy Architecture. Come along and learn how to make your house or garden more sustainable and how Council's Environmental Incentive Schemes can assist. Wednesday 30 April at 7pm North Adelaide Community Centre 176 Tynte Street North Adelaide Book your place today Adelaide City Council Customer Centre 8203 7203 or firstname.lastname@example.org Places are limited Adelaide City Council proudly presents a FREE EVENING SESSION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IDEAS: www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/environment Being carbon neutral doesn't cost the earth ... Offset CO2 emissions that lead to climate change
̈Only $175 a year from every Australian would grow & monitor the required 80 trees per person to offset annual CO2 emissions, help reduce salinity & restore biodiversity.
̈Offsetting your emissions is easy and tax-deductible via our secure website link at www.carbonneutral.com.au. Also find out how to reduce emissions at home & work.
̈Operated by not-for-profit, volunteer based organisations who over the last 28 years have together grown over 30 million native trees. Ph: 8406 0500 www.independentweekly.com.au 15 The Independent Weekly April 24 - May 1, 2008 green guide Australians use more than four billion plastic bags a year and most of these end up in landfill. But they represent only 20,000 tonnes of waste or 0.1per cent of Australia s landfilled waste. So in the context of litter and wildlife, plastic bags are important but let s not kid ourselves that banning them will have any sig- nificant effect on waste to landfill. We need to begin seriously addressing the iceberg beneath. Commonwealth and state govern- ments need to help make recycling of general waste more commercially attractive than simply landfilling. At the moment business is faced with the reality that dumping in a landfill is often cheaper than recycling. At the right price, local councils and industry will be encouraged to adopt new advanced waste treatment (AWT) technologies that can capture and recycle about 70 per cent of the general waste from households and businesses. There are only a handful of these plants around Australia. Using world-class technology, they manage a variety of waste streams in one location, processing organics and recyclables and produce compost, renewable gas and electricity. Two new facilities will open in western Sydney this year. State government levies on general waste intended to send clear pricing signals to waste generators are operating in South Australia ($22 per tonne), Victoria ($11 a tonne), NSW ($38 a tonne) and Western Australia ($6 a tonne). These levies are avoidable if the waste is recycled. The biggest criticism of the levies is that the money does not go towards improvements in recycling -- some states simply use the revenue for other purposes. We also need to recognise the costs of climate change arising from the millions of tonnes of methane being emitted from the large number of small landfills without gas capture. A recent study by Warnken ISE points to the potential to deliver nearly 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gas abatement through innovative resource recovery and improved landfill gas capture prac- tices. That adds up to a reduction of nearly 7 per cent in Australia s total greenhouse gas emissions -- equal to taking all cars off Australian roads. There s no question that we could all do much better in recycling and waste management. While newspaper recycling is an excellent 73 per cent, business recycling rates are much lower. For example, only 11 per cent of office paper is recycled and only 50 per cent of cardboard nationally. We need to implement the newly available technologies. We need to ramp up the introduction of reprocessing technology and provide incentives for companies to invest in waste processing infrastructure. We need to remove the hazardous waste from the system through the use of extended producer responsibility schemes (for batteries and gas bottles, TVs and electronics, at least), further expand the product range accepted in kerbside recycling schemes and we need to limit the amount of organic material going to landfills by encouraging large-scale composting and AWT. Governments at all levels have a key role to play. Residents and consumers can only do so much. Governments must lead with actions to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution, to limit hazardous wastes to landfill, to put a value on the energy benefits of recycling and recovery of materials, to regulate for improved landfill performance including landfill gas capture, and to assist communities in funding new infrastructure. They must eventually turn their attention to design and minimising waste production in the first place. They must introduce or review their waste strategies in the face of the growing waste trends. Plastic bags are a useful place to start, but they are only the very small- est of tips of a very large iceberg. -- Mike Ritchie is general manager of SITA Environmental Solutions, a national recycling and waste service provider Plastic-bag ban full of holes Reusable material being dumped into landfill is the real problem Mike Ritchie Links Archive April 25th 08 Domain May 2nd 2008 Navigation Previous Page Next Page