Do You Watch Your Waste Line?


September 22, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson

Compost-bins-Adelaide-whatsonthelistFirst of all, I would like to thank my viewers overseas in advance for indulging me today in writing about “minimizing food waste and promoting recycling” from a local view.

In South Australia, we have a yellow bin for recycle, a green bin for organics or compost and a red bin for general waste that ends up in the landfill.

While this is indeed a global issue, Watch Your Waste Line was provided by The Adelaide City Council in partnership with KESAB environmental solutions.(South Australia’s “leading not-for-profit” – Keep South Australia Beautiful)

There is so much to learn worldwide about ways to re-use, recycle especially food scraps, recycling LPB (Liquid Paper Board) cartons such as milk or juice, glass, paper & cardboard, metal, plastic, hazardous materials and a BIG topic at the moment e-waste.
“What is e-waste?”, I “hear” you say?
Ah, so I have peaked your interest in watching you waste line, eh?

E-waste is short for electronic waste.

“Televisions, computers and other e-waste contain non-renewable resources such as
tin, nickel, zinc aluminium and copper, as well as hazardous materials such as lead and mercury. Sending these products to landfill means the resources they contain are potentially lost and there is a risk that the hazardous substances may be released into the environment.”

Thank you to Megan from KESAB for increasing awareness about “sending waste to landfills” when it can be recycled.

Megan emphasized that education is important, especially with school children.
Megan-waste-classDid you know more than 1.5 million computers are dumped in Australian landfills every year?

Did you know 99% of the components that make up a PC (personal computer) can be recycled too?

By recycling and not sending e-waste to landfills, people can avoid heavy metals, serious chemicals and toxins from polluting the environment for future generations!

Hands up, who has a clue, who knows what their local South Australian councils allow or not allow to do?

If there is any doubt, all councils and recycling information can easily be accessed conveniently online or your local council is only a phone call away!

Megan explained since CDL (Container Deposit Legislation) in South Australian was introduced in 1977 to “reduce litter” and “promote resource recovery,” it (the legislation) has proven very successful.

To engage my viewers overseas today, since 2008, South Australians are encouraged to recycle.

The scheme “allows South Australians to collect a deposit for each beverage container they return to a recycling depot” (the deposit = 10 cents)

Did you know 90% of waste is from packaging?

Did you know 1 milk carton = 5 sheets of white paper? I do now!

I honestly thought I was cluey when it came to recycling and minimizing waste (especially food waste), but I found I had and still have A LOT to learn!

If my post today can help just one person, one family, one community, than it would give me great pleasure indirectly.

I will highlight areas that “surprised” me!

1) Recycling is NOT numbered – I “thought” the triangular symbols from 1 -7 meant the item was recyclable!

I NOW know the plastics identification code is used by manufacturers to label the “type” of plastic.

Plastics that “hold their shape” (i.e. milk bottles and soft drinks)  can be recycled. (Yellow bin)
Recycle-bin-AdelaideSoft plastics and bags can be recycled at Coles Supermarkets or placed in your own waste bin. (Red bin)

2) Not ALL glass can go in the recycling bin!

While glass bottles and jars can be recycled, broken glass and oven-proof glass like Pyrex go in the waste bin. (Red bin)
3) Children’s toys cannot be recycled due to being toxic!

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a plastic chemical that is added to children’s toys; Phthalates are also added to soften a plastic and or for fragrance. Both have toxic effects in landfills and for the environment.
4) Used light globes (bulbs) contain mercury that may harm the environment!

South Australians can drop off their used light globes at any Banner Hardware, Mitre 10 or True Value Hardware stores; look for this banner:
backlightThe range includes but is not limited to:
globe-flourescent globe-halogen globe-incandescent globe-tubes IKEA takes back only their own brand.

Did you know you can bring back packaging from household goods purchased from retailers and they are “obliged” to do?
i.e. Harvey Norman and The Good Guys to name a few.

Not only is it a “good business” practice, but rebates as incentives to recycle more are offered by recycling plants and companies too!

While (as you may know by now), I am not genuinely into stats, some stats speak for themselves!
Did you know that 75% of waste in kerbside collections CAN be recycled?

Now to my favorite topic to share…FOOD!

foodwaste-header                                              Photo Courtesy of Zero Waste SA

If you live in a “participating council” like the Adelaide City Council, they may be provided (as a resident of that council) a bench-top container to collect your food scraps which then can be emptied into your green/garden organic bin.
compost-bin Sadly, my council is not currently a participating one!

What can YOU do to Watch YOUR Waste Line?

Megan suggestion to also check out FoodWise with its Partners & Contributors.

I KNOW this is A LOT for you to take in at one time too!

I would LOVE hearing your comments worldwide on this global issue of recycling and minimizing food wastage!

Is there something in today’s post that also took you by surprise today?

You KNOW by now comments also MAKE MY DAY!

Just curious…do YOU know WHAT to do with used batteries?

Thanks to The Adelaide Council in partnership with KESAB environmental solutions, I now do!
Batteries-recycle-AdelaideRecycling-bank-batteries-AdelaideIf you enjoyed this post, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook! Thank you!

foodwaste-posterPlease feel free to click on the poster for some very interesting food waste facts!


15 thoughts on “Do You Watch Your Waste Line?

  1. babso2you says:

    Think of how much waste can be reduced by manufacturers not creating over sized packaging? I recently had to replace my mouse and the new one came on a 5 x 7 plastic package, that had me cussing trying to open it. Wouldn’t recycled cardboard have been better (3″ by 4″ box)? Great article Joanne! We should all get wise on waste!

    • Thanks Barb for your passionate and lovely comments today! You got my vote re packaging. Unfortunately, it is what the ol’ mighty dollar and what consumers are willing to pay! Most in my opinion don’t think of the packaging and what happens to it after they buy, true! But now I know, I can bring th packaging back to the place I purchased it and they are obligated to take it! TRUE!

  2. 90% of waste is from packaging? I knew it was high but I’d never thought it would be that high. wow. great post.

  3. Really great and informative post Joanne. I knew lots but learned new things to recycle. At home I have garbage and recycling from my apt building, no compost. Laptops I reuse by giving my old one to my mom lol. She has yet to actually throw and older one out. When I changed my last cellphone my provider did give me a rebate for recycling. That is a great way to get people to do more.

  4. What a great and educational post, Joanne! We have a great recycling system here but a few of things you mentioned I would like to check into. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I had no idea that you could bring back the packaging to the stores-that’s great to know! Thanks for the educational post 🙂

  6. That is so true, we buy too much, cook too much and don’t use the leftovers well enough.
    That is something I do my best to minimize.

  7. G’day Tonette and thank you for your PASSIONATE about recycling comments today! Sadly costs vs recycling seem to be a global issue that also gets in the way!

  8. I think it is all a fantastic idea,Joanne.In many communities in the U.S., recycling is mandatory ,; some have stiff fines for putting a recyclable in the wrong container.
    Unfortunately, where I now reside, there is no curbside recycling and the community has cut back on recyclables they leave bins out for.Here, of all places, where there is probably more waste than in the rest of the hemisphere. Everyone needs to get onboard and save our world.

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Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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