Recycling is second nature to most Australians. © Planet Ark

Recycling is second nature to most Australians.

How does Australia’s recycling compare to the rest of the world?

Australians compete against the rest of the world in many ways and recycling is no exception. In some areas, like newspaper recycling we have been world leaders for years, but in others we have some catching up to do.

Kerbside recycling

Overall 51% of household waste gets recycled in Australia, relatively on par with recycling rates in northern European countries and exceeding the mean recycling rate of all 28 countries in the EU of 42%. This is quite an achievement for Australia considering the unique landscape and dispersed population that our waste services need to navigate.

Recycling By Country

E-Waste schemes

Electronic waste is increasing at three times the rate of other types of waste in Australia. Although voluntary industry programs like ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ and MobileMuster have provided recycling options for many years it wasn’t until 2012 that national legislation meant that manufacturers and importers of TVs and computers needed to provide free recycling services to households and small businesses. In South Korea a similar scheme began in 1992.  

In other areas like, battery recycling, Australia is still in its infancy. In the European Union, where battery recycling is mandatory, there are hundreds of thousands of collection points and initiatives designed to develop positive attitudes towards recycling in children and families.

Take action

  • Recycle your old TVs and computers though one of the approved programs like TechCollect. Look for services near you at
  • While a national battery recycling scheme is still some years off make sure you recycle what you can including: AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries though ALDI Supermarkets, Battery World stores and council or state government run programs. Look for services near you at 
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