What do you think about waste and recycling in SA?

Now Closed

This online engagement was hosted on YourSAy from 18 June to 28 August 2020. Find out more about the consultation process. Below is a record of the engagement.

 

Help us develop the next waste strategy to build on South Australia’s achievements in recycling, resource recovery and the circular economy.

To guide the discussion, we invite your feedback in response to the following questions.

  • What are the most important issues to you in relation to waste and recycling?
  • Can you offer any ideas for how waste and recycling services could be improved in South Australia?

In the Draft Strategy you can find specific questions relating to:

  • Community and householders
  • Government, business and industry
  • Local government

You may wish to consider issues such as:

  • bin infrastructure, including food caddies;
  • frequency of collections;
  • hard waste collections;
  • education to support behaviour change in councils;
  • contracting requirements or specifications for waste management and recycling services;
  • support in data collection and transparency in disclosing information;
  • support for Infrastructure (including soft infrastructure) and for educating households;
  • consistency across local government areas;
  • encouraging local processing;
  • end markets for materials collected;
  • costs and environmental benefits and whether these are taken into account when awarding contracts.

Thanks for your input.

Comments closed

Angela Step

28 Aug 2020

I got my submission in right on the deadline (ish). I do hope it is considered :)

Laura Carrington

28 Aug 2020

I've emailed a more detailed submission to Green Industries however here is a summary of my submission:

- Love what SA has done so far and excited about the next crucial urgent steps
- Let's focus on top of waste hierarchy (avoid/refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, etc) and less on recycle and recover
- Let's invest in locally-made certified compostable nappies innovation (and manufacturing) and reusable nappy cleaning services
- Please investigate legislative options to restrict the disposal of organics from businesses to landfill and enforce food waste collection from businesses (including schools!)
- Invest even more in schools waste reducing and recycling

kai hau

28 Aug 2020

YCA Recycling is helping the industries and communities in educating and recieving plastic for recycling. we want to see government bodies in spending more time and effort in education to school and communities to promote more detail in plastic recycling, and how well south australia is dealing in this matter.
when it comes to circular economy, people often do not know what plastic to separate, no system is telling where their plastic should go, more effort needs to be made.
councils can work with communities and recycling industries to setup event and promote how recycling works.
we are appointed by schools to go and talk about plastic recycling but sadly there are no funding for setting up event/presentation to students which they can go back home and help us to pass on the message to thier family member.
we need people be educated more about the correct way to separate their waste.

plastic recycling can be made easy if communities and industries hold hands together and create circular economy and product stewardship, however the end market for recycled plastic as in material can be hard to sell. buy back / incentives in using recycled plastic is no there to the communities and industries, a product made by recycled plastic can be high price and often people will not buy. we need support in promoting recycled plastic product. councils can buy a small portion of the volume but the communities have to put the hands up in supporting the industries and buy product that is made by recycled plastic.

Laura Carrington > kai hau

28 Aug 2020

Thanks for your contribution, YCA!

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > kai hau

28 Aug 2020

Thank you Kai Hau for your feedback.

Plastics are particularly tricky, as there are so many kinds, and most people are unable to tell the difference, or are aware if they can go in a yellow bin, the soft plastic collection systems in supermarkets, another process or into the landfill bin.

Along with the Which Bin? campaign to help people navigate this, improved standards and labelling will assist this, and work is being undertaken at a national level to address this:

https://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/events/category/apco-community-meetings

It is also important that we create markets for the materials being collected, so that we 'complete the circle'. Much more needs to be done, but there are some efforts underway - late last year, a group of councils signed an agreement that their procurement would 'buy back' more of the contents of the yellow bins presented at kerbside:

https://www.lga.sa.gov.au/sa-councils/part-of-your-everyday/waste-management

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Marisol Da Silva

28 Aug 2020

We need to ensure all shops have the option to tare consumer's own jars and containers for reuse - that is we don't need to keep making more and more packaging all the time. Currently, some supermarkets have a small area dedicated to refilling household items like oats, rice, nuts and more. However, you cannot tare your own clean jar, then fill it with things available for sale in bulk even. In discussion with the manager of this supermarket chain it was expressed to me that this was because a) they do not have their computer systems set up to allow for basic mathematics like removing the tare weight of the jar off the cost of the bulk product and b), it is apparently a food security risk to use your own jar, but it is not so to touch the scoop provided so you can load up a new plastic or paper bag that they provide, with the bulk item instead. It doesn't make any sense. This means even trying to refuse plastic packaging waste is riddled with barriers at every step of the way for households. I think all shops should not be allowed to sell single packaging that is not reusable, compostable and as a very last resort recyclable. Plastic stickers on fruits should also be banned in favour for non toxic food dye stamps or something else environmentally sound. People should be encouraged to clean out their own jars, bottles and bring them in for refill and given incentives to do so. We should be able to refill all household cleaning products in bulk. I am sure you are working towards this but the laws need to change from the top as well as everyone making individual efforts.

So much packaging now is made up from mixed plastics and mixed materials. My concern is for the tide of tiny bits of mixed little things, which will never be recycled easily, and will end up in the landfill streams at the recycling MRFs. One great discussion on this thread is to improve the availability of drop off points where you can bring in your collected fragments of metal, plastic lids, globes, lids etc, and more at to one easily accessible drop off point - similar to what they do in Japan. However, let us not forget we are relying on the goodwill and unpaid labour of households to power this circularity. As such, there should be financial incentives for households who manage to divest waste away from landfill. But ultimately, unless harsher laws are designed against manufacturers waste will continue to be pushed as a responsibility onto others, including households. Poorly made products should not be allowed for sale, as so many are designed to break in short timeframes (planned obsolesce) with little right to repair. We need to legally regulate design in our Australian policies so all design has to disclose what happens to that product at the end of it's life, and if the answer is landfill, it should be banned from sale. Supermarkets should be also be legally enforced to transition away from provisioning everything in plastic. Plastic packaging should be reduced to near zero in future. More local collection points, bulk buying shops are needed in place of the models that the big chain supermarkets currently offer. When we did a bin audit of our own waste, the biggest problem we have is soft plastics. We buy in bulk where we can, we plan to reduce and refuse, but even still, there is so much plastic waste. There are so many products which also greenwash mixing plastics with cardboard and bamboo even. Everything made and sold should and must have a responsibility for what happens to it at the end of life. Let's start at the beginning more, not just look at what to do once the waste is created.

Also, we need national policies, there is uneven access to, and rights to, services within South Australia for waste managment. For example, some apartments don't even have access to a green organics bin within councils that offer them to people who live in houses. Social equity is a concern when it comes to reducing waste as well.

Marisol Da Silva > Marisol Da Silva

28 Aug 2020

*planned obsolescence (sorry typed this quickly before the deadline to have a say at the end of today)

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Marisol Da Silva

28 Aug 2020

Hi Marisol, and thanks for your feedback and suggestions.

There are many actual and perceived barriers to buying in bulk but they are not insurmountable, and reducing food and packaging waste will mean redesigning some of the ways we access food. There are many places which do this (https://www.thegoodlifewithamyfrench.com/post/2017/10/06/best-bulk-and-wholefood-shops-around-adelaide; in Perth, someone created a map of them https://maphub.net/zerowasteshopswa/zero-waste-shops-wa) but the practice is not so common in major supermarkets.

Yes, it is difficult for individuals to refuse plastic packaging when it is built into the supply chain. The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation are working to address this at a national level:

https://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/events/category/apco-community-meetings​

An outstanding theme of this consultation has been peoples' desire to have a central drop-off point for recyclables that can't go through the kerbside system (the collection and sorting machinery has been designed for small consumer recyclable containers).

In the case of regions, it is not always feasible to offer a green bin service. In the metro area, councils that offer green bins to households can refer to the guide developed by Green Industries SA (then Zero Waste SA) in association with other partners, however in the case of existing buildings, much will depend on their design and whether they have appropriate space:

www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/publications-waste-management-residential-mixed-use-development

Thank you for taking the time to comment.​

Laura Carrington > Marisol Da Silva

28 Aug 2020

Great contribution, Marisol!
I particularly like this idea - "We need to legally regulate design in our Australian policies so all design has to disclose what happens to that product at the end of it's life, and if the answer is landfill, it should be banned from sale". For items such as menstrual products there are reusable but some compostable options would be great, and nappies, reusable cloth nappy laundry services and certified compostable nappies would be great! No tampons, pads and nappies to landfill!

Hannah Richards

25 Aug 2020

Plastics & Packaging - it would be great to have more recycling points for items that cannot go in the kerbside bins, such as styrofoam. Obviously the ultimate goal is to remove styrofoam from use completely but that is probably beyond the state's control. There are currently only two collection places in the north, so would be good to see more of these.
Bin collections - i'd strongly support having landfill bins collected fortnightly and increase collection of yellow and FOGO bins to weekly. Bin auditing should also be more regular and then perhaps some kind of incentive could be introduced for people to reduce their waste to landfill.
Difficult to recycle items (batteries, globes, soft plastics, e-waste etc.) - currently there are so many different drop off locations for these items making it difficult for people to do correctly. It would be great to see central repositories for all these things so people can make one trip to recycle multiple different items.
Deposit items - increase deposits to include larger plastic bottles, wine bottles
Single-use plastics - increasing the ban on single use plastics to include all plastic bags, produce bags, coffee cups, takeaway containers

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Hannah Richards

25 Aug 2020

Thanks so much for your comments, Hannah.

Many of the responses in this consultation have suggested more central repositories to enable people to drop off a range of non-kerbside recyclable items that, at the moment, have to go to different locations.

Both the container deposit legislation and imminent single use plastic legislation have scope for expanding the items covered by regulation. There was a trial undertaken in supermarkets in the City of Holdfast Bay to replace plastic produce bags with compostable bags, that could then be used in home kitchen caddies:

https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/_literature_206402/Holdfast_Bay_Compostable_Bag_Trial-Project_Report_(2020)

One of the intentions of the draft food waste strategy for SA is to support the expansion of the compostable produce bag trial to other retail outlets, particularly where area-wide food waste collection systems have been implemented.

We're only aware of two places accepting polystyrene (Cool Foam at Edinburgh North and Electronic Recycling Australia at Ottoway) so if anyone knows of locations central or south of the metro area, please leave a comment.

Laura Carrington > Hannah Richards

28 Aug 2020

We should use the term (expanded) polystyrene not Styrofoam, shouldn't we? I agree with Hannah in that it is the ultimate goal to ban polystyrene as it is one of the quickest plastics to break up into microplastics. Just last week with the heavy rain and wind, the dozens of pieces of polystyrene in a neighbour's skip flew down the street and landed on the road, down the stormwater drains, front gardens, and tiny pieces lined the street gutters. I picked up as much as I could and took clean polystyrene to ERA in Ottoway on my way elsewhere.
There are alternatives that are more easily recyclable, compostable and even reusable!

Angela Step > Hannah Richards

28 Aug 2020

so much expanded polystyrene out there to be chased. I can't go past it yet I'm so sick of chasing it. The collection I have here to take 'north' when I can - is all LITTER i've picked up!

Joanna Gambetta

12 Aug 2020

Clear information regarding to sugar based plastics and their disposal should be made clear to public as well as the fact that normal coffee cups are not recyclable to encourage change of habits. Also, more places should be available to dispose of difficult waste such as waste oil. Other countries have bins for this type of waste in each community.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Joanna Gambetta

25 Aug 2020

Thank you for your interest and suggestions, Joanna.

One of the overriding themes throughout this consultation is people's desire to have convenient and centralised drop off points for a range of non-kerbside recyclables.

There is certainly confusion in regard to all plastics and biodegradable, compostable and degradable labelling. The Which Bin? campaign has had a focus on the green bin, with both food waste and compostable packaging, through both mainstream and social media:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lFmezGg8DE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFvUz7zs4MU

https://www.whichbin.sa.gov.au/tips/could-your-takeaway-container-be-composted-

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation has also been working to address this issue nationally: http://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/news/new-guidance-to-address-confusion-over-compostable-plastic-packaging

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Trude Paladin

11 Aug 2020

I want more local places to dispose of difficult waste, like styrofoam and batteries. I also want the recycling picked up weekly. My recycling bin is full now and there's 9 days till the next collection. By the day I put out the recycling bin I also have a huge pile of recycling down the side of the house. Sometimes I just get so frustrated and I throw as much as will fit into the garbage bin.
We need to stop making roads and traffic calming devices out of tar and concrete and start making them out of recycled plastics and rubber. Bus shelters, seats in parks and tables and play equipment can all be made from recyclables, so can fences around parks. We need to encourage more businesses to do more with recycling.
I don't want a reply that we are doing stuff, I want us to do more, then after that I want us to do more again.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Trude Paladin

12 Aug 2020

Hi Trude, thanks for your comment and your commitment to recycling, especially when you're managing such a lot of it.

Community drop off centres - where people can take all kinds of difficult waste, in the one trip - has been a popular request from the public, which would make recycling much more convenient. It is an approach that needs to be worked through, as there are the logistics of the companies who collect these materials to consider too.

There are no legal restrictions relating to increasing the collection frequency of recycling bins to a weekly service as you have suggested. We encourage you to contact your council, who contract the service providers, to raise this issue.

The plastics that are collected do go to making those products, including in SA at companies like Advanced Plastic Recycling at Kilburn:

www.advancedplasticrecycling.com.au

These products need markets, and to be prioritised in procurement, including by government. Last year, a group of councils have signed an agreement to 'buy back' the contents of their yellow bins, and this is critical to ensuring there are markets for recyclables that are collected:

www.lga.sa.gov.au/sa-councils/part-of-your-everyday/waste-management

It's worth acknowledging what is already being done, even though we can always do more of it.

Lesley Friedrich > Trude Paladin

20 Aug 2020

For people with a problem like Trude, whose yellow bin fills up too quickly, may I make a suggestion of squashing the squashable products, like the milk containers. Just stand on it and it reduces volume significantly.

Trude Paladin > Trude Paladin

20 Aug 2020

Hi Lesley, I've been doing that for years. Everything is flattened as far as it can get. I have 5 kids, we go through a LOT of recycling. I still end up binning some. We need a weekly pickup. I'm about to get new furniture, goodness knows where the cardboard boxes will go.

Laura Carrington > Trude Paladin

28 Aug 2020

Hi Trude, I may be wrong but some councils allow an extra recycling bin for about $80/year? Have you asked?
Also, perhaps doing an audit of your recycling bin will find some common packaging then you could ask here for these types of items be more widely available as refillable locally to you 💚

Rohan Lienert

06 Aug 2020

Can the weekly rubbish collection requirement be changed? A weekly recycling pickup would be much more useful. I usually only have 1 bag of rubbish a week but my recycling bin is overflowing by the end of 2 weeks.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Rohan Lienert

10 Aug 2020

Thank you very much for your comment and your interest in recycling, Rohan. In terms of the legislative requirements relating to collection of waste, currently there is legislation that mandates metropolitan councils to provide weekly residual waste collections through the Environment Protection (Waste to Resources) Policy 2010. However, there are currently no legal requirements relating to the provision of weekly recycling or organics collections.

The draft South Australia's Waste Strategy proposes a target of 75% diversion for municipal solid waste (household waste) by 2025. To achieve this, the Strategy encourages councils to consider ways to increase the diversion of food waste into the green organics bin and encourage recycling of more material in the yellow bin. It also encourages that at a minimum, there is provision of kerbside bin-based collection services to all households in metropolitan Adelaide as follows:

- Organics, including food waste collections, at least fortnightly
- Recycling, at least fortnightly.

While the Strategy encourages the above as a minimum service, as detailed above, there are no legal restrictions relating to increasing the collection frequency the organics or recycling bins to a weekly service as you have suggested. In considering any initiatives or changes to bin-based services such as these, Green Industries SA would view that undertaking community consultation would be vital to demonstrate the benefits of any change and to consider possible impacts, including whether education and awareness support may be needed to underpin any changes. Green Industries SA thanks you for your comment and your efforts in recycling, and also would encourage you to contact your council to raise your suggestion.

Brigsby Bear

05 Aug 2020

Compostable Bin liners...
How much energy is used to make these, not just the cost? Greenhouse gas emissions!?
They are not very useful anyway. A few hours with moisture from discarded food waste and they lose their structural integrity and break.
Putting food scraps in the green council bin? Just as well throw straight in... Save time and energy!

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Brigsby Bear

06 Aug 2020

Hi Brigsby, thanks for your comments. Compostable bags are particularly useful for households generating little or no garden organics in containing odour and reducing the need to rinse bins when there is not the drier garden organic material in the bin to absorb some moisture. Certainly, many households choose to dispose of the food waste straight into the green bin, which is encouraged, however our research has shown the vast majority prefer to use a lined and ventilated food waste system which yields far better results. 

In 2009–2010 South Australian councils collaborated and participated in a pilot project that saw household food waste collected as part of the garden organics kerbside service. Engaging some 17,000 households, the project was the largest pilot of its type undertaken in Australia. Where the compostable bag lined bio-basket was rolled out, a higher percentage of food waste was captured and diverted from the rubbish bin – 28.0% compared to 9.31% with an unlined caddy. In regard to ease of use, the bio basket (93%) attracted stronger support compared to the unlined kitchen caddy (60%). You can find more information and findings from this pilot at https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=165550.

Food waste is still 40% of what is being presented at kerbside in landfill bins, so the greenhouse cost of the bags pales into comparison compared to the embodied energy of food (which is more likely to be diverted if compostable bags are part of the system), and its impact in landfill, emitting methane which is 20 x more powerful a greenhouse gas than C02. Also, some supermarkets are starting to replace single-use barrier film bags with compostable, so the bags can be used a second time to line an appropriate food waste system.

Kylie McBride

05 Aug 2020

I am happy to recycle but it is hard with drop off points way over the other side of town from me - why can't we have designated places locally that can take all recycling that doesn't go in our council recycle pick up - eg polystyrene, light globes etc. People find it too hard so they dump it in the landfill bin which is helping no one. We need to find industries that can make things out of recycled materials and support them - rather than shipping to another country to deal with and then we are left with warehouses full of our "recycling" that then needs to be dumped because they don't want it anymore. We need to make a better world for earth, our children and their children.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Kylie McBride

05 Aug 2020

Hi Kylie, thanks for taking the time to comment. Accessible and convenient drop off points is a theme that is emerging through this consultation, and providing a 'one stop shop' approach in response to community demand. We definitely do need to have industries that can remake with recycled materials, and critically, we also need to have organisations buying those products to create the markets (on this, an expo is coming up in October http://www.wmrr.asn.au/Shared_Content/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=SABR_2020).

Last year, a group of councils signed an agreement to 'buy back' as much of their kerbside yellow bin material as possible: https://www.lga.sa.gov.au/sa-councils/part-of-your-everyday/waste-management

Please check out these posts which were researched and published in response to concerns over dumping and exporting of recyclables - in short, this is not the situation in South Australia, so be assured that your recycling is being recycled:

http://www.facebook.com/whichbin/posts/568651693980964

http://www.facebook.com/whichbin/photos/a.391361405043328/570715750441225/?type=3​

Lesley Friedrich > Kylie McBride

20 Aug 2020

Agree with Kylie. It would be great to have drop offs at shopping centres or such like for small items like bulbs, batteries, bottle tops, printer cartridges, xrays etc. Sometimes people don’t bother recycling small numbers of these items, but collectively they add up significantly. Aldi attempts to collect some of these things but their containers are always overflowing and you can’t leave your items. How can retailers who are half interested, be helped to collect and deliver the items more effectively? Can the recycling facilities do pick ups?

Peter Ede

04 Aug 2020

In years past every home had a furnace to burn waste that could be burned.
I see no reason to not allow this again. Better than the current methods of burying our waste in landfill.
If we can not have a furnace in our own yards then community high temp furnace should be built to reduce landfill. The ash can then be buried instead.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Peter Ede

04 Aug 2020

Thank you for commenting. South Australia is now diverting more than 83% of material away from landfill, in part because we have taken significant steps to implement local infrastructure and systems that help us to manage our waste materials in an entirely different way – that is, as an important resource which can be recovered and recycled, rather than disposed of to landfill.

Part of this success has been achieved by rolling-out high performing kerbside collection systems across the State. These systems not only displace any need to consider alternative methods such as the one you have proposed (which would also be in direct violation of South Australia’s environment protection laws and policies aimed and reducing environmental pollution), but also provide the State with an accessible and convenient way to play a role in encouraging the diversion of materials into recycling.

Diverting this material into recycling also helps benefit the South Australian economy – for every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled, 9.2 direct full time equivalent jobs are created – meaning by recycling, we’re also helping to create jobs within our local South Australian workforce.

Katerina Caltabiano

02 Aug 2020

I would really like to see a plan toward a reduction in packaging, both from a producer and consumer perspective. Possibly through taxing certain types and amounts of packaging, certifications and labeling. I would also be interested in 1 stop shop recycling centres for items that can not be placed in curb side recycling. in SA we have done a fantastic job with the container deposit scheme. If this could be expanded to other items even at really low deposit values, the rate of recycling would increase, contamination decrease and jobs created.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Katerina Caltabiano

04 Aug 2020

Hi Katerina, thank you for taking the time to comment. Labelling and certification certainly needs to be a lot clearer, and often (because many products are not made or consumed within one State or Territory jurisdiction) that means a national approach. The Australian National Packaging Organisation is working with governments, producers and retailers nationally on these issues:

https://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/who-we-are/packaging-recycling-label-program

And for those who want to find out more, the APCO team are also running community webinars on various packaging and labelling issues:

https://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/events/category/apco-community-meetings

The idea of community drop off centres has cropped up a few times, and would make it easier for people to recycle items that can't be put in the yellow bin, rather than having different systems and places in various places. However there are considerations to work through not only from the drop off perspective, but the logistics of collection, and some systems such as soft plastic collection are arrangements between commercial parties ie. supermarkets and REDcycle.

Tony Lewis

29 Jul 2020

SG and James are right, there is scope for waste to energy in SA, however it appears this is an afterthought in the draft strategy with it put on page 87 of 93 ! Waste to energy IS part of the Circular Economy and the statements here are out of touch with much of the work taking place overseas such as in UK as well as other Australian States where WTE is on the agenda.
There are over 800,000 tonnes going to landfill, more than sufficient for a waste to energy project. Misleading and deceptive comments such as "Due to high capital and operating costs, technologies such as thermal combustion plants typically require long-term (20 years or more) contracts that ‘lock in’ a secure supply of feedstock material. Locking-in feedstock materials over such a long period of time prevents the adoption of new tools or technologies that may emerge during the term of the contract." It is common to 'lock in' contracts for a period of time to allow landfills to be built or new efficient trucks to be purchased for collection, however you are suggesting this is a detrimental practise? In UK a recent Council tender was for 30 years + 10 year option to be able to secure a WTE project. Having said that much lower contract periods are possible as the industry matures and we have seen this in other renewable energy projects such as wind and solar that in early days banks wanted 20 year PPA's, now a period of 10 years is bankable. In addition, this is a commercial aspect and it is one aspect that is driven by financial and risk aspects which can be managed along the way. As evidence based, one of the West Australia contracted waste arising contracts. The $140 levy now is way over the amount required to make a project viable so it is suggested you re-visit this section and re-write it with some evidence based comments as the statements reflect a very poor understanding of this after thought topic.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Tony Lewis

04 Aug 2020

Thank you for your comments Tony.

Please note that although there is 800,000 tonnes of waste going to landfill, this is dispersed across metropolitan and regional landfills and not all of this material has calorific properties that would be suitable for waste to energy.

Further information on State government policy in relation to Energy from Waste is available in the Environment Protection Authority's position paper (which licenses waste and recycling facilities):

https://www.epa.sa.gov.au​/files/14206_efw_position_statement.pdf

The EPA position states that (for waste currently going to landfill), a maximum of 40% by weight may be eligible for use in thermal EfW activities provided that it is generated by a council collection system:

• with a mandatory 3-bin collection system per household including the separate collection of green waste and food organics, and kerbside collected recyclable material

and

• where this waste would otherwise be disposed to landfill.

Green Industries SA recognises that the specific duration (term) and other conditions of contractual arrangements is ultimately a matter between a WTE service provider and potential interested parties that may seek to engage its services for management of waste. Factors such as scale of operation, capital and operating costs, competition in the market place, environmental and social outcomes, and ultimately the commercial attractiveness of entering into any contract requires due diligence from all parties.

S.G Klippel-Cooper

20 Jul 2020

One of the most relevant methods of reducing waste from landfills is using the waste to produce power. Waste to Energy (WtE) is a very broad term that covers any process that converts waste into energy, or an energy-carrying product, such as a gas or oil. Despite the existence of many different technologies, the aims of all WtE processes are essentially the same:
■ Reduce the volume of waste and hence reduce the volume requiring disposal in landfill;
■ Reduce the biodegradable fraction of waste to zero, and
■ Produce a useful commodity (typically electricity and/or heat) from non-recyclable waste.
WtE can be split into two main categories:
■ Thermal - includes combustion, gasification and pyrolysis, related processes all of which subject waste to high temperatures but with varying oxygen concentrations.
■ Biological – anaerobic digestion (AD).
In WA, Macquarie Capital estimates that approximately 486,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided per year, compared with the carbon dioxide emitted from grid generated electricity in Western Australia. The facility will also export 36 MW of electricity to the local grid per year, sufficient to power more than 50,000 households.
Therefore, we should invest in this idea to add additional renewable energy options for SA's power production. We are currently leading the world in renewable energy and there are more methods available to us than solar and wind. Lets embrace waste to energy production and power our clean future.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > S.G Klippel-Cooper

24 Jul 2020

Thank you very much for your comments. In South Australia, we recover more than 80% of material away from landfill, and our waste recovery effort has certainly shifted from a reliance on landfills as the primary method of waste disposal to a focus on waste avoidance, reuse and recycling.

Our State, through our Waste Strategy, adopts the internationally recognised waste management hierarchy which preferences the treatment of wastes in order of avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover (including energy from waste), treat and dispose. Energy from waste is certainly higher on the hierarchy than landfill disposal. Therefore these technologies may be suitable where there are instances where waste cannot be avoided, provided they do not circumvent viable options of higher value uses for material (for example, in reuse and recycling). It is also noted there are other issues to consider in establishing energy from waste facilities – including capital and operating costs, whether there is an ongoing feedstock of materials, and any issues regarding waste by-products which may be generated and disposed of (and in some cases needing disposal through specialised hazardous waste facilities).

For further information, you may also wish to see the Environment Protection Authority’s Energy from Waste position statement: 

https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/14206_efw_position_statement.pdf

For further detail about South Australia’s recycling performance, you may wish to see further information here:

https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/SArecycling

James Robinson > S.G Klippel-Cooper

05 Aug 2020

@Green Industries SA, not sure about the over 80% recouvery rate? Think the figures may be a bit misleading. When people talk WtE it doesn't have to be just waste that is burnt. There are a lot of furnace that manufacturing use EG:- Timber Mills in the South EAst use furnace's to produce heat for kiln drying. Why can't a program be implemented where the waste is burnt together with the fuel they are using? The fuels they use are usually woodchip & sawdust, a bi-product of theirs. So we could reduce them using their bi-product and get rid of the landfill.

S.G Klippel-Cooper > S.G Klippel-Cooper

05 Aug 2020

I Agree with James, the South East should embrace a program to explore the potential of WtE. The South East could lead the state in the implementation of WtE in the State. With Co-Vid 19, SA should be exploring different technologies and opportunities to make our economy stronger. This program could lead to additional WtE sites set up around SA and employment for locals. A win-win situation for SA.

S.G Klippel-Cooper > S.G Klippel-Cooper

05 Aug 2020

In reply to Green Industries, if our recycling was so good, then why was SA sending plastic and our recyclables to China? China's refusal to accept any more rubbish from Australia caused enormous problems including the increase in the solid waste levy placed on Councils. Innovative methods of braking down plastics should be explored, using rubbish to produce energy and the development of cellulose breakdown methods using bacteria ( this idea was put to the government by 2 local PhD students and ignored). Instead of just blowing our green Industries trumpet, we should be endeavoring to seize every opportunity that arises ( just as the Chinese Government does) and not be at the tale end of the process.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > S.G Klippel-Cooper

12 Aug 2020

Green Industries SA has undertaken some investigations re: biomass opportunities in the south east:

www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/_literature_165463/Waste_Biomass_Opportunities_Map_for_the_South_East_of_SA_(2014) 

As the agency which which licenses waste and recycling facilities, further information on State government policy in relation to Energy from Waste is available in the Environment Protection Authority's position paper: 

www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/14206_efw_position_statement.pdf

To clarify a couple of points made:

- the waste levy has been in place since 1993, and has periodically been increased irrespective of any other jurisdiction's policy; and

- each year, Green Industries SA commissions an independent Recycling Activity Survey to track the amount and type of materials being generated and where they go - the most recent survey is here: 

www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/_literature_201292/Recycling_Activity_in_South_Australia_2017-18 

South Australia diverts 4.5 million tonnes annually from landfill to recycling and resource recovery, and the vast majority of those materials are recycled here.

Other materials like paper, and metals are reprocessed interstate (6% of total materials recycled by weight), and some materials go to overseas markets (6%) where they have the facilities to remanufacture the materials.

As was the case with all Australian jurisdictions, and many other countries worldwide, the destination for some of South Australia’s recyclables used to be China. Subsequent to the decision by China to no longer accept the import of some recyclables from other countries including Australia, the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) has more recently decided to ban the export of a range of materials, including mixed plastics, mixed paper/cardboard, glass and tyres:

www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/waste-export-ban 

The COAG decision will encourage a diversity of national and local solutions for these materials.  

S.G Klippel-Cooper > S.G Klippel-Cooper

12 Aug 2020

Please explain why "Other materials like paper, and metals are reprocessed interstate (6% of total materials recycled by weight), and some materials go to overseas markets (6%) where they have the facilities to remanufacture the materials." SA should be recycling these materials ourselves in SA instead of sending them out of the state or overseas. If they are valuable to other states and countries then we should recycle them here. These industries would provide jobs for South Australians and keep the money in SA, why should we be allowing other states and countries to make money and jobs on us? Patting COAG on the back for banning sending waste overseas is ridiculous, the more relevant question is why was it done in the first place? To let China develop recycling industries and make money on us? So much of tax payers money ( and please remember, it is all tax payers money that the Government plays with) has been spent talking about the need to recycle and then setting up committees, departments and agencies to limit the opportunities to recycle here in SA ( WtE plants for example). Why not stop just talking about the importance of recycling and actually support scientists and researchers to develop new and innovative techniques here in SA for the future of all South Australians.

Liz AHERN

18 Jul 2020

More effort needs to be put into reducing landfill by setting up SA industries so more people would be motivated to clean and sort their recyclables properly. Random on the spot fines or prizes might raise awareness and provide motivation. Did the Unley overhead poster project make a difference?

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Liz AHERN

24 Jul 2020

Hi Liz, thanks for your comments. It is critical that we have industries which take and make products from recycled materials in order to create a market demand for them, and shape a circular economy.

In terms of behaviour change (an ongoing challenge), carrots and sticks can work, but need to be designed in the right way.  

It's difficult to make a causal link between the Unley Road banner and improved recycling - only bin audits can tell us if behaviour has shifted, and that is likely to be a combination of things. The Unley Road street banner was referenced again and again by residents across the state in our research. Thousands of cars a year travel that road, not just Unley residents, and in terms of large scale physical ‘captive audience’ placement yes, it did make a difference on a brand awareness, education and behaviour change scope and our market reference supports that. We are also getting some good outreach via the Which Bin? Facebook page and ad campaign.

Nev Moody

17 Jul 2020

My Council ( District Council of Grant ) have introduced a compulsory fee for service bin collection system. I have been responsible and diligent in reducing my waste to about 1 shopping bag every 2 or 3 weeks. I can dispose of this responsibly without a bin collection. In fact my property has not had a bin service for its 105 year occupancy and I do not know why I should be forced to pay $254.00 a year for it now. The Councils waste management policy says its aim is to reduce the amount of material going to landfill, how is forcing me to pay for a bin service going to do that when everything in the bins goes directly to landfill.
The landfill levy seems to be ineffective as a deterrent for council's as they can just pass the cost to the ratepayers. There needs to be some rewards for people who reduce their waste rather than my situation where I am effectively subsidising those that are happy to just throw it in a bin. I am torn between being responsible with my disposal of waste and getting some use out of my $254 a year bin fee.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Nev Moody

04 Aug 2020

Hi Nev, thank you for your comments. We are unable to comment on the specific nature of your circumstances which is an issue for your local council. The waste levy is designed to drive reforms to increase recycling, reduce waste to landfill and ensure that the waste and recycling industry everywhere adopt more efficient environmental practices across the whole of South Australia. The levy is one reason why SA is a national leader in waste management and resource recovery, with 83% of our material now being recovered rather than sent to landfill.

Hailz R

15 Jul 2020

Soft plastic recycling in the Adelaide Hills is very difficult to access. It would be great to have an easier way to get it to a nearby recycling depot as we have no Coles or Woolworths nearby.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Hailz R

16 Jul 2020

Hi Hailz, yes there are challenges in both the Hills and regional areas where services may be less accessible or are non-existent, including non-government, commercial arrangements like the REDcycle system available through supermarkets. Thanks for this feedback. We agree that collection systems, including soft plastics but also for a range of other materials, need to be made as convenient and accessible as possible.

Helen Rowe

14 Jul 2020

I'd love to see South Australia develop a facility for the recycling of clothing. There is currently nowhere for clothing that is unfit for second-hand sale to go other than landfill and it's a huge problem. There are obviously complexities around all the different types of fabrics and some fabrics being a blend of natural and synthetic fibres but there is enormous potential to reduce the volume of waste going to landfill with this one area alone.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Helen Rowe

16 Jul 2020

Hi Helen, thanks for this. Yes fibres and textiles are a complex challenge. There are all sorts of interesting technologies being developed overseas, such as Fibresort (http://www.valvan.com/products/equipment-for-used-clothing-wipers/sorting-equipment/fibersort/). Whether this, or another kind of approach can be established here depends on a lot of factors, including the economy of scale, costs of collecting and separating the materials, as well as whether there are end markets.

You might be interested in the recent webinar hosted by Rawtec in which Green Industries SA Women in Circular Economy award winner Shani Wood, who recently completed an international study tour on the management of textile waste, shared her findings on what happens to Australian textiles that are donated to charities, and programs that could be implemented to ensure donations do not end up in landfill. She also shared insights on engagement programs that motivate individuals to change their textile shopping behaviour, and research opportunities for textile reuse and recycling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyycSbxpd6Q

Nicki Rai > Helen Rowe

29 Jul 2020

I agree with Helen. While SA leads the way in Waste Management we do need to improve our textile recycling. I work for a large company that uses a lot of PPE that would end up in landfill (boots, hard hats, company branded high-visibility clothing) and there is nowhere to be able to recycle/re-purpose this.

I did see the webinar regarding textile waste recently and asked the very same question however the answer was rather vague and didn't really provide any solutions. Not surprising given this is a problematic area with textiles.

I have clothing from home that once I have 10kg, will be paying $25 to send to an interstate company called 'Manrags; who will use the clothing and shoes that aren't good enough to donate to charity and re-purpose them, create new yarn or shred them and use for other purposes. Trouble is not everyone will want to do that and we need at least something we can do in SA, given that 6,000kg of textiles and clothing are disposed of in landfill every 10 minutes Australia-wide.

https://manrags.com.au/clothing-recycling/#learn

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Helen Rowe

04 Aug 2020

Thanks Nicki, yes textiles is a very complex area, and not one where there are ready solutions yet, though technology such as Fibersort, being developed in the EU, looks promising: www.valvan.com/products/equipment-for-used-clothing-wipers/sorting-equipment/fibersort/.​

Better waste management, resource recovery and recycling begins with design, so at the front end of this process, designers need to be thinking about whether the materials they are using can be recovered; and if their design means various components can be separated; or what materials can be used in place of those that cannot be easily recycled or repurposed. Branded clothing and accessories is one area which makes reuse difficult.

We do need local options which would be preferable to shipping heavy textiles all over the globe, and to ensure there are markets for the materials - that also means having information publicly available about what products are produced from companies that collect textiles, and who those suppliers of products are. We also need to consume less to slow down the flow of material needing to be managed.

Meg Riley

14 Jul 2020

I agree with comments from Bob Tumath (below) re the system in the UK. It is FREE to visit a council tip where different skips or other receptacles are provided for people to drop off material that would otherwise go to landfill - eg 'bottle banks' and separate banks for cans; receptacles for newspapers and different ones for cardboard; skips for building waste or garden waste; a collection point for furniture, white goods and clothes. These have been in use for decades now, without even the incentive of container deposit legislation! Importantly, these 'tips' are a one stop shop rather than the multiple different locations in SA where you can drop off light globes, e-waste, batteries, etc. Like many people, I've done a wardrobe declutter during lockdown and I've been stumped as to what to do with clothes and shoes that are no longer fit for purpose - not suitable for the op shop leaves no alternative but landfill. I would like to see council-based waste collection sites where ANYTHING can be taken and disposed off to be recycled in some form or other. Surely this kind of venture, if done correctly, could raise revenue for local projects rather than being a cost burden as well as reducing landfill and easing the burden on the environment. The key thing is to have a SINGLE, accessible location in each council area. Thanks and keep up the good work.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Meg Riley

16 Jul 2020

Hi Meg, thanks for your comments and the thought you've put into your feedback. Textiles and clothes are indeed a vexed question (see reply to Helen Rowe above).

The UK has such facilities for bottles, newspapers, cardboard, garden waste and so on, whereas Australians are lucky to have the convenience of the three bin kerbside system (landfill, containers/dry recyclables and garden/food waste). Having said that, as you noted, there are a number of things that can't go in any of those kerbside bins, but where separate collections exist for e-waste, batteries, light bulbs, soft plastics, gas bottles are provided for householders to access at various locations. It would be ideal to have a central point operating as a one-stop convenient drop off location, bearing in mind that some existing facilities are not government operated and therefore rely on the ability for privately operated facilities to receive and process certain materials (for example, the REDcycle soft plastics service is an arrangement between REDcycle and the major supermarkets).

In South Australia, due to our container deposit scheme which has been in place since the 1970s, we do have an extensive network of container collection depots across South Australia: www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/waste_management/container_deposit/collection_depots. Many of these depots receive and recycle other materials and may have the potential to fulfil an expanded role for recycling of other materials and as you have suggested, operate as a one-stop point of convenience.

Thank you very much for making a contribution to the feedback process.

Darren Pine

13 Jul 2020

The state government needs to start with promoting the 3 R's: Reduce what we use, reuse what we can, and recycle what we can't.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Darren Pine

14 Jul 2020

Dear, Darren,

Thank you for your comments about promoting the three RRRs. South Australia, through its Waste Strategy, adopts the internationally recognised waste management hierarchy which preferences the treatment of wastes in order of avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover (including energy from waste), treat and dispose.

This gives us a great framework to guide all of our efforts in waste management across the state – from our legislation, policies, programs and education and awareness programs. It helps us to make sure our efforts in waste management reach the highest possible part of the waste hierarchy so that we can get the full value of resources and divert as much as possible away from landfill.

For further information, you may wish to see the Which Bin campaign which is underpinned by principles of the waste management hierarchy: https://www.whichbin.sa.gov.au/

Other information about programs delivered are available on the Green Industries SA website: https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/

Darren Pine

13 Jul 2020

Several thoughts on this topic:
Making it easier to recycle items that cannot be put into the recycling bin; items such as light globes, batteries, polystyrene, etc.
Encouraging local government to allow free green waste dumping.
Standardization of what can and cannot be put in recycling bins.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Darren Pine

14 Jul 2020

Dear Darren,

Thank you for your comments about expanding the type of materials that could be recovered through the kerbside bin systems. There are certainly many problematic wastes which require the development of innovative solutions, particularly those that relate to council waste management interests and services and of householders.

Including some of the materials you have mentioned in the recycling stream through kerbside collections do require specific strategies are in place to ensure these are easily identified and safely removed in recycling centres to prevent not only contamination of other recyclable materials, but also to ensure public safety.

For example, householders are advised not to place compact fluorescent globes or other fluorescent tubes in their kerbside recycling bin. These items need to be recycled by a company with a specific process. The mercury powder contained in them is a significant contamination concern for the broader recycling industry.

In relation to some of these more problematic wastes, Green Industries SA has worked to ensure more accessible public drop off facilities.

For example, South Australians are provided with a responsible safe collection and disposal service for unwanted chemicals through four new permanent facilities. These facilities accept a range of materials – including batteries, light globes, gas cylinders and a range of hazardous wastes. The service includes Paintback which provides households and commercial painters with an easy option for disposing of unwanted architectural paint and packaging correctly.

Green Industries SA also operates the Backlight program with Mitre10, Banner and True Value hardware stores to enable South Australians to recycle all domestic light globes at no cost. The globes are recycled by Chemsal Resource Recovery.

In relation to polystyrene, unfortunately, these items are not recyclable through South Australia's systems. Householders are therefore encouraged to separate these out from other recyclable materials or alternatively take them to a council transfer stations for disposal into landfill which may incur a fee.

In terms of costs for green waste disposal costs, it is understood that the costs associated with this service vary according to the arrangements in place to manage waste materials (such as costs for collection and processing). You may wish to seek further information about the arrangements specific to your area from your council.

For further information, you may wish to see:
Household Chemicals and Paint Drop-off centres:
https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/hazwaste

South Australia’s Which Bin education program:
https://www.whichbin.sa.gov.au/

Light globe recycling:
https://www.mitre10.com.au/locator/
Ikea http://www.ikea.com/aa/en/store/adelaide

Darren Pine > Darren Pine

14 Jul 2020

Thank you for your reply. I am aware of the light globe recycling through the hardware stores and Ikea. Some councils do provide a collection pount as well. My point was that it needs to be expanded so that no globes or tubes end up in landfill.
As for green waste, some councils actually process it for their own mulch, or give (sell?) it to companies like Jeffries. If green waste dumping is free, as it is with suburban roadside collections, more people would do so, meaning less would end up in landfill. Encouraging composting will also help with this.

David Clarke

10 Jul 2020

I have periodically picked up roadside rubbish (https://ramblingsdc.net/cleanup.html). Single use coffee cups are one of the most common types of rubbish I come across. I suggest there should be at least a 10c deposit on them.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > David Clarke

14 Jul 2020

Dear, David,

Thank you for your comments in relation to single use coffee cups. Disposable coffee cups have certainly been an issue of concern for many councils due to their ability to end up in the litter stream. Progress has been made towards a culture of reusable cups, however, current concerns around COVID-19 have seen several announcements that outlets will not be offering service in reusable cups. Green Industries SA has, through a partnership with Innovyz, been supporting work on developing a disposable cup where the lining can be removed (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvvr7ccEvwY).

There is a piece of legislation in Parliament right now concerning banning some single use plastic items from supply - in the first instance, this does not include disposable coffee cups, but the legislation has the capability to expand the scope of banned products (www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/plastics). Green Industries SA has engaged Boomerang Alliance to deliver the Plastic Free Precincts SA program. Working with the hospitality, café, and food service sector, the local coordinators assist businesses with to switch from single-use plastics, including disposable coffee cups, to better alternatives.

Compostable cups were identified for consideration for future inclusion in this legislation which would also need to consider provision and collection of green bins in public places and resolving design and education issues to avoid contaminating both green bins and yellow bins.

Robert Tumath

07 Jul 2020

I have read the draft report and, although I agree with the sentiments and aims, I can't help but find myself thinking of the wonderful 'Utopia' series and wondering about a suitably glossy cover and lavish public release.......

One sentiment did stick, however - let us become a world leader. Having grown up in the wonderful Dunstan era, and being of Swedish heritage, I yearn for REAL change, not the usual pale response, accompanied by lame buck-passing between our plethora of governments.

I was recently watching a doco showing the appalling litter problem in India, plus the comment was made that the average person was living on about $3/day (seems a pretty typical figure for developing countries). It occurred to me that there was considerable income potential recycling the litter, plus the obvious environmental benefit. The next piece of the puzzle was seeing the can and bottle deposit machines being installed in the other states that are finally adopting container deposits, without the depots that we see in SA.

So, all clean recyclable material must have some value, even if it is only cents/kg.

Imagine this - a row of receiving machines where you log in with some kind of ID or credit card, place your material on a weighing platform, and your account gets credited with the value. There would need to be good camera coverage (plus a host of other problems to be overcome, I am sure) to minimise fraud and vandalism, and monitor quality.

We are all very used to (mostly, but not exclusively) lower income people in SA collecting cans and bottles to supplement their income. This could mean kids in 3rd world countries (including NSW) collecting paper and plastic to earn $2/day, adding considerably to their family income......

Think about it!

Bob Tumath

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Robert Tumath

14 Jul 2020

Dear, Robert,

Thank you very much for your comments. Maintaining our leadership role in recycling and resource recovery is certainly a key objective for South Australia. We have increased our diversion away from landfill to more than 80%. This is the highest compared to other Australian states and territories – and just one of the reasons why South Australia is increasingly raised as an example of being a leader in the circular economy.

For further detail about South Australia’s recycling performance, you may wish to see further information here: https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/SArecycling

As you have mentioned, South Australia’s container deposit scheme (CDS) which has been in operation since 1977, not only reduces the incidence of beverage container litter but also achieves the highest national rate of recycling for the containers covered by this legislation. It remains a highly effective tool to reduce beverage litter and promote recycling of beverage containers.

Thank you for your ideas regarding innovation in technologies to support processing of CDS items. You may be interested to see further information about innovative technological solution developed by a South Australian company, SAGE automation which provides a solution for automated counting and sorting beverage containers using camera technologies and provides the ability to instantly refund the customer. For further information, you may wish to see SAGE’s website here: https://www.sageautomation.com/news/pages/sa-high-tech-deposit-machines-fight-war-on-waste.

For further information about SA’s CDS scheme, you may also wish to see the Environment Protection Authority’s site: https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/waste_management/container_deposit

James Robinson

07 Jul 2020

Currently working in the waste industry I can see first hand that it is a constant battle for waste segregagtion. This has lead to costly landfill rates and thus causing people to illegally dump as they cannot afford nor are willing to pay for excessive transfer station fee's. I am 100% totally convinced a Waste to Energy ( WtE ) plant is needed and long overdue. There are many typoe of waste resources from general rubbish to the scrap in the pine plantations that either get burried or burned with using the energy to create any benifits. In my head I have been planning a WtE plant for about 10 years but the government and private enterprises need to get on board. There would be no more reliance on other countries to take our waste and only we would benifit from such a plant rather than landfill or outdoor burning.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > James Robinson

14 Jul 2020

Dear, James,

Thank you very much for your comments. In South Australia, we recover more than 80% of material away from landfill and our waste recovery efforts has certainly shifted from a reliance on landfills as the primary method of waste disposal to a focus on waste avoidance, reuse and recycling.

Our State, through our Wast Strategy, adopts the internationally recognised waste management hierarchy which preferences the treatment of wastes in order of avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover (including energy from waste), treat and dispose.

Noting your comments about a waste to energy plant – energy from waste is certainly higher on the hierarchy than landfill disposal. Therefore these technologies may be suitable where there are instances where waste cannot be avoided, provided they do not circumvent viable options of higher value uses for material (for example, in reuse and recycling). It is also noted there are other issues to consider in establishing energy from waste facilities – including capital and operating costs, whether there is an ongoing feedstock of materials, and any issues regarding waste by-products which may be generated and disposed of (and in some cases needing disposal through specialised hazardous waste facilities).

For further information, you may also wish to see the Environment Protection Authority’s Energy from Waste position statement:
https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/14206_efw_position_statement.pdf

For further detail about South Australia’s recycling performance, you may wish to see further information here: https://www.greenindustries.sa.gov.au/SArecycling

Patrick Lally

06 Jul 2020

There are still many items (valuable resources) that are slipping through the net. One such item is bike tyres/tubes that cannot be recycled anywhere in the state. Tyres/tubes are a valuable, non-renewable resource that shouldn't be sent to landfill. The UK has taken the big step of making it illegal to send these items to landfill therefore encouraging the market to respond and provide solutions to the problem. Similar to the e-waste ban, maybe items such as these can be added to the banned list.

Government Agency

Green Industries SA > Patrick Lally

16 Jul 2020

Dear, Patrick,

Thank you for your feedback in relation to the Waste Strategy – and your comments in particular about bike tyres and tubes and whether these could be subject to a form of a ban.

While the UK was part of the European Union (EU), its landfill activities were governed by the EU Landfill Directive which prohibited tyres from being disposal to landfill with certain exemptions, including bicycle tyres which were not subject to the landfill ban. Your email suggests that since Brexit, this situation may have now changed.

As is the case in the EU under its Landfill Directive, much of the emphasis to date in Australia has centred around end of life waste tyres sourced from vehicles such as cars, motor bikes and trucks (as opposed to bike tyres and tubes distinctly) and further detail is provided below in relation to these. Whole waste tyres were banned for disposal to landfill in South Australia in the 1990s:
https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/files/4771416_guide_tyres.pdf

In South Australia, the latest recycling activity survey undertaken indicates that in 2017-18, approximately 20,000 tonnes of tyres and rubber were recovered for recycling. There are many known high value commodities which can be made from waste tyres – for example, crumb rubber (a highly refined rubber product made from recycled tyres), tyre derived fuel, and tyre derived products.

A national voluntary tyre product stewardship scheme was also established in 2014.

The scheme is operated and funded by the tyre industry to increase domestic tyre recycling and reduce their disposal to landfill. While bike tyres and tubes are not in scope within this particular scheme, it does aims to support new technologies that will expand ongoing markets for tyre derived products.

So although there is no current recycling solution, it may be that these existing voluntary approaches dealing with end of life tyres sourced from motor vehicles could be extended by industry to include bike tyres and tubes in the future.

For further information, you may wish to see: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/publications/factsheet-product-stewardship-end-life-tyres