Recycling facts Australia: We all know (or at least the vast majority of us do) that recycling is a good thing for the environment Recycling has certainly got some bad press in recent years.


Newspaper and TV coverage has highlighted the instances of recycling collections being brought to landfill – and China turning back recycling exports.


At Waster – we highlight the latest trends in the recycling industry – and the latest smart waste technology. The good news is that as people become more focused on recycling facts – the number of companies focusing on innovative recycling technology is helping us overcome recycling issues.


Many people do not know however, that recycling can also save a business money, so it also makes economic sense.


>Download Now: Free PDF Business Owners Guide To Commingled Recycling Bin Services



But just how important is it? How much of an impact can recycling make? Well, the latest Australian recycling facts and statistics really puts things into perspective. So we created an infographic to show you, paper recycling facts, plastic recycling fact. Here are the recycling facts Australia needs to know! 

recycling facts australia


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Recycling Facts Australia Needs To Know! Infographic Transcription

Mr Waster loves facts and he loves recycling – so of course, he would like a list of interesting facts about recycling. Everyone knows that recycling is very important to reduce landfill and waste impacting on the natural environment. Here we’ve compiled some recycling facts Australia needs to know about!


Of course – make sure you come back to our website on a regular basis to check the latest information on all things recycling related!


Why Recycle?

Reduce Pollution

Collecting, refining and processing raw materials contributes to air and water pollution. Recycling minimises these processes, reducing pollution.


Lower Energy Usage

Recycling reduces the amount of energy expenditure that is required for the extraction, refinement, transportation and processing of raw materials into products.


Reduce Landfill

Waste that would normally be sent to the tip is reused, resulting in less space required for landfill and less need for more waste disposal facilities.


Protect Animals And Their Habitats

Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials being extracted from the environment. The extraction of these resources often result in the destruction of natural habitats. Recycling also reduces the amount of waste that leaks in to our waterways.


Recycling Saves Lots Of Money And Also Natural Resources – Helping The Environment!

By recycling your household waste you will help save our precious natural resources. Each year kerbside recycling can help save:


11,000 Mega-litres of water
That’s more than enough to fill more that 4,500 Olympic sized swimming pools!


386,000 tonnes of green house gases
That’s the same as taking more than 64,000 cars off the road for a whole year!


Paper Recycling Facts


With the shift towards digital media and paperless offices, it may surprise you to find out that paper is still one of the world’s most commonly used consumer items.

When it comes to paper and cardboard recycling rates, Australia is one of the world leaders at 87%.

However, Australian’s still consume around 230kg per person per year in un-recycled paper.

Recycling just one tonne of paper saves:
13 Trees
2.5 Barrels of oil
4,100kWh of electricity
4m3 of landfill
31,780 litres of water

Plastic Recycling Facts

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials across a multitude of industries. However, its production takes a heavy toll on our environment.

More than 90% of plastics produced are created from virgin fossil feedstocks.

Recycled plastic uses around 88% of the energy required to make new plastics.

Producing new plastic requires oil and coal, and is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions which play a big part in climate change.

8 million tonnes of plastics find their way into our water ways.

An estimated 1 million sea creatures are killed by marine waste every year.

Recycling 1 plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.

What to Recycle (recycling facts Australia)

The following items can generally be recycled in your home recycle bin, but check your local council website. For business recycling bins, it’s best to get in touch with a waste management company to discuss your needs.

Recycling Metal

  • Aerosol cans (including deodorant)
  • Aluminium foil baking trays
  • Baby formula tins
  • Cooking oil tins
  • Food and drink cans
  • Pet food cans

Recycling Plastic

  • Cake and biscuit trays
  • Cleaning product bottles
  • Deodorant (roll on)
  • Drink bottles (juice, milk)
  • Punnets (berry)
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles (including pumps)
  • Sports drink bottles (reusable)
  • Take away food containers
  • Yoghurt containers

Recycling Paper and Cardboard

  • Butcher / Deli paper
  • Cartons (milk, juice.etc)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Envelopes
  • Long life cartons
  • Junk mail, newspapers and magazines
  • Paper plates
  • Phone books
  • Pizza boxes
  • Toilet rolls
  • Wrapping paper
  • Washing powder boxes

Recycling Glass

  • Bottles
  • Jars

What not to Recycle

The following items should never be disposed of in your home recycle bin.

  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Shredded paper (this can go in your garden organics bin)
  • Clothes
  • Toys
  • Nappies
  • White goods
  • Heat-resistant glass, such as Pyrex
  • Crystal
  • Organic waste (this can go in your garden organics bin or compost)
  • Pens
  • Furniture
  • Car parts
  • Sharps (needles and/or syringes)
  • Foam rubber

Australian Recycling Facts Infographic provided by Waster, Australian Waste Management Services.


Recycling services that can help your business!


Waster is an Australian waste and recycling business for small and medium businesses that put a real focus on educating and providing info on how you can cut your waste management costs and help the environment at the same time.


For example, we have partnered with TerraCycle to offer recycling boxes for many items such as rubber gloves and coffee pods. Also, check out our blog on resources for students (waste and recycling).


Waster is different to other waste collection companies – as we make as much money on recycling as general waste.


This is because we do not operate a landfill and hence to not financially benefit from not recycling!


We provide all waste and recycling services from bin collection, grease trap services and sanitary bins on flexible 30 day agreements.


recycling facts australia


You can easily recycle paper and cardboard, glass bottles, plastic bottles, bottles and jars etc with commingled recycling bins. Plastic bags can be recycled on small level by utilising the RedCycle service in participating supermarkets. Redcycle makes items such as furniture from recycled plastic.


You can also see our services and costs in our online waste shop for all your bin requirements such as general waste:



Bonus Recycling facts USA!


We took these recycling facts and statistics from the US website – you can browse loads of varying lists there (if you so like!) – and we quote below:


“In the U.S. alone, over 20 billion diapers are thrown out a year, accounting for over 3.5 million tons of waste.”


“Only about 5% of all plastics in the U.S. are actually recycled.”


“It takes 70% less energy to recycle paper than to make it from raw material.”


“In the late 1800s, peddlers acted as early recyclers. They would carry sacks of reusable items in their wagons to sell to general stores.”


“A plastic bag from the grocery store takes between 500 years and 1,000 years to degrade. (See Redcycle for a great solution to this).”


“There are about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of our oceans.”


“Over 1 million seabirds die each year from ocean pollution.”


“In the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” located in the Pacific Ocean, for every 2.2 pounds of plankton, there is 13.2 pounds of garbage, including cigarette buts, cans, plastic bags, bottles, Styrofoam, toothbrush, balloons, and more.”


“Every year, over 50 million tons of e-waste (electronic waste, such as computers and cell phone) is created. This is akin to filling a line of garbage trucks halfway across the Earth.”



“Laid end to end, all the aluminum cans recycled world wide in 2010 would circle the Earth 169 times.”


“After getting liposuction, a New Zealand skipper recycled his fat into biofuel to power his eco-boat.”


“In the Pacific Ocean, there is a “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is about the size of Texas. The garbage extends 20 feet (6 meters) down into the water and contains over 3.5 million tons of garbage. It is estimated to double in size in the next 5 years.”


Recycling facts USA


Mr. Waster is intrigued by the Great Pacific Garbage patch and will expand on it in future blogs.


See a very interesting TedX presentation below – where it is argued that recycling is not the recycling of plastic but a move to re-use and also reduction of use in the first place.


Conclusion on recycling facts Australia:

What amazes me sometimes is the fact that we throw away valuable materials like plastic, cardboard and metal.


These items cause incredible damage to the environment such as sealife.


The economic value of a tonne of recycled material is manifold – as it reduced the need for new materials, tree cutting etc,  reduces air pollution and removes many million tonnes of waste from landfill.


Many materials can be used to fuel power-stations also if they can not be directly recycled. Alternative fuels of this type are used on a large scale in Sweden and save enough energy for the national grid that new oil imports are reduced.


The average person can make many small changes when armed with recycling facts Australia knowledge. These changes can make a huge difference to our environment.


On this same topic of recycling facts Australia – see our blog on waste reduction.


For more innovation – see our blog on how landfills can produce electricity.


If you liked this on recycling facts Australia, we published another infographic here on office recycling bins.


commingled recycling cta