Who pays for recycling?
Although some materials such as aluminium cans have a resale value that covers the cost of their collection and recycling, this isn’t the case for most materials especially when complex processing and disposal of hazardous waste is required. That means the money to cover the cost of recycling needs to come from somewhere.
The consumer or resident
With kerbside recycling the difference between the value of the materials produced and the cost of collection and processing is paid for by residents through rates set up by local councils.
If an item cannot go into the kerbside recycling bin and there is no free industry or community-operated program, the consumer may be asked to pay for the cost of recycling. Mattresses, for example, can be recycled at many locations for an average charge of $60 each.
Industry & government responsibility
More industries are taking responsibility for the items they produce by voluntarily establishing schemes that cover the collection, processing and recycling of their products at the end of their useful life. These voluntary programs include ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’, MobileMuster, and REDCycle Plastic Bag program.
Since 2012 the federal government has had the ability to regulate industries to ensure they provide recycling services. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, was the first such scheme and it provides households and small businesses with access to free recycling services at hundreds of locations around Australia.
Use the existing industry and government programs to recycle as much as you can.
- ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’
- TVs and Computers
- REDCycle Plastic Bags
- Power Tool BatteryBack (Brisbane only)
All Sorted - Answering the Big Recycling Questions Report
This report for National Recycling Week 2015 answers the seven big questions in recycling.