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Australian waste - Essay Example

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Australian Waste Name: Institution: Outline Australia generates approximately one tonne of waste every year that is sent into a landfill. After the United States and Israel, Australia ranks as the third largest producers of landfill among developed countries…
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Download file to see previous pages The most polluted sites in Australia include transport sites, roadsides, park/waterfront areas, rivers and creeks, school grounds, coastal/beach areas, as well as shops and malls. A recent trend exists that seeks to move away from burying and burning of waste in Australia towards its reuse and recycling. This shift towards sustainable development and conservation ideals with regards to waste disposal, as well as policies aimed at recycling, reusing, reduction of generation, and extraction of energy from the waste have caught on in Australia. Since the 1990s, household waste recycling has become more popular. Reasons for this trend can be explained by the presence of kerbside recycling; raising commodity prices, as well as increased levies for land fill services to prohibitive levels. However, mobile phones have introduced a new dilemma since they contain harmful products. This has necessitated novel ways of disposal. AUSTRALIAN WASTE Australia generates approximately one tonne of waste every year that is sent into a landfill. After the United States and Israel, Australia ranks as the third largest producers of landfill among developed countries. Significantly, most of this waste is resultant from goods that Australians do not even use with waste of over $10.5 billion per year occurring. This habit has begun developing in the early 20th century as ideas of convenience and hygiene gave rise to disposable products, which was justified because the consumer was assured of un-contaminated products. Buying into disposability is easy because new products are cheaper than fixing a broken one. However, this kind of disposability is a fantasy that exists because Australians do not have to see, smell, or handle their waste. This is unlike natural systems where waste is critical in the maintenance of life and, therefore, is not removed, but used as a resource for another system. While organic material in nature can decompose and be used to create something new, this is not possible for industrial objects. It, therefore, becomes important to recognize the regenerative power that waste can have. Australia’s recycling habits, however, have been improving, although there is room for improvement. The most important waste management principle, including recycling, repair, reuse, and reduce, is refuse. Australians are encouraged not to buy a lot of products to begin with since the realization of a sustainable environment also needs a reduction in consumption (O'Connor, 2007). For fourteen years, plastics make up the majority of waste collected in Australia with 31.75 of all collected waste being plastics. Miscellaneous items like cigarette butts made up 17.7% of all rubbish. Metal, especially aluminium ranked third at 14.6%, followed by glass at 13.1%, and finally paper at fifth accounting for 12.6% of all collected rubbish (Australia Bureau of Stastistics, 2007). Other material included polystyrene and rubber. These are the major sources of rubbish in Australia. When it comes to rubbish items, cigarette butts rank first accounting for 29.6% of items surveyed. Alcoholic beverage containers made of glass were second with 5.4%. The other rubbish items in order of prevalence include confectionary and plastic chip bags, plastic bottle caps, pieces of glass, PET drink containers, metal items, especially aluminium, and paper. The most polluted sites in Australia include transport sites, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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