Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers
Buy It Back
91% of Australians agree that
recycling is the right thing to do. But putting items in the recycling bin is
only half the job. For recycling
to achieve it's full environmental and economic potential, consumers and
businesses need to purchase products with recycled material.
Recycling has indisputable environmental and economic benefits over landfilling waste. A clear demonstration of this is the 50,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill by Australian consumers choosing to purchase Safe Toilet paper.
Using recycled material is becoming an increasingly common business model for many companies producing ‘big ticket' items. Dunlop Flooring, for example, manufactures foam underlay for carpets and timber floors from 90% recycled materials. The company runs its collection program through retailers like Flooring Xtra, which enables householders and retailers to send their unused or excess underlay back to the production facility where it is cleaned, sorted, and recycled into new underlay. Over a five-year period, the amount of CO2 emissions that the Dunlop Flooring recycling program prevents from entering the atmosphere is equivalent to 42,924 cars being removed from Australian roads.
Homebuilders and renovators can embrace the long-term environmental benefits of using recycled material, especially wood. As a tree grows, it takes carbon from the air and turns it into wood. Half the weight of wood is stored carbon. By using recycled wood in buildings, and indeed for furniture, toys, and other uses, the carbon stored in that wood is locked out of the atmosphere for the life of the house or product. A home in Berry Mountain, for example, used timbers from an old bridge built in Queensland in 1938. The carbon stored in that wood was likely taken from the atmosphere in the early 1900s and is now locked in a new modern house.
Whole houses can also be recycled. The vast majority of materials taken from a demolished house can be put to another use. Wooden frames can become mulch for the garden, window and door frames can be refurbished and used again, old tiles can be made into drive ways and concrete can be crushed and added to new concrete.
Key to making recycled products more readily available is consumer demand. If you can easily find items with recycled material, ask for it. Businesses won't know there is a demand for it if no one asks!
Get in on the secret
- Seek out and buy everyday products made from recycled materials like
- Seek out and buy big ticket items made from recycled material like:
- Dunlop EnviroTread Underlay, made from more than 90% recycled foam, from stores like Flooring Xtra (who donate $1 from every roll to National Recycling Week),
- Look for inspiration on using recycled timber for building at Make It Wood
- Seek out demolition and waste companies that work had to achieve high recycling rates for the materials they collect like Bingo Bins
Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers Report
This report for National Recycling Week 2014 lifts the lid on what makes a successful recycler, with each section focusing on actions that someone can take to be more successful.