Since Australia stopped incinerating rubbish in the middle of the 20th century, most of our solid waste has ended up in landfill. Some 20 million tonnes of garbage each year makes its way to hundreds of landfill sites, mostly clustered around our capital cities. This represents about 40% of total waste generation in Australia.
The average domestic bin contains 60% organic material, with the bulk coming from food (40%) and garden waste (20%). This is a primary source of landfill gas, mainly methane, which is produced when organic waste decomposes.
That 60% organic material is your home-grown compost. Other ways to reduce landfill are sorting into commingled (yellow), paper and cardboard (blue), organics (green) and coffee cup collection. Disturbingly, 44% of all packaging waste produced in 32017-18 ended up in landfill. As the most environmentally damaging form of waste management, everything we can do to reduce our landfill footprint matters. Methane gas emissions produced by landfill are 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Follow these simple disposal instructions and only use landfill disposal outlets when you have exhausted all other recycling options. You can make a real difference to sustainability.