Waste Management has become a major problem across the world. However, Australia has been handling it well but a lot of waste is still ending up in the landfill. Between 2015 and 2016 over 12 million tonnes of waste was produced by Victorians and one/third ended up in the landfill. This compares poorly to the 99% recycling in some European countries.
It is projected that the annual waste produced in Victoria will by more than 24 million tonnes by 2021. Sustainability Victoria estimates that it will cost between 3.6 billion to 5 billion dollars in the next 30 years to manage the waste effectively. The average waste per person has reduced over the last decade, it is not enough.
The Victorian government is buying areas across the state to turn them into Mega landfills for future waste management. The waste management plan aims to increase the proportion of waste that is recycled from 67 per cent now to 73 per cent in five years and 76 per cent in 20 years.
The main target in terms of recycling is food waste, which accounts for 35% of the total waste. 92% of the food thrown out went to landfill which resulted in the production of more methane, which is a greenhouse gas made as a result of decomposition.
Similarly, E-waste has also had a huge impact on Landfill. In 2014, 106,000 tonnes of e-waste was created and less than half of it was recycled. It is projected that this could grow up to 259,000 by 2035. As of July 2019, E-waste is banned from being thrown into bins. E-waste contains many harmful and useful materials which shouldn’t be thrown away. The glass and metal components can be melted/shredded and reused to potentially make new electronic devices.
The government has put over 12 million dollars towards the fund for making commercial products out of waste, including recycling rubber and plastic waste into road materials.
Furthermore, the national peak body for waste management said, “Victoria’s recycling crisis is likely to get worse as pressure continues to pile on the industry.” After that, 2 major recycling sites had been issued a ban. The 2 sites were banned from accepting any more material due to the high risk of a fire there. The company also had to dump these materials into landfill as they couldn’t recycle it. WMRR chief executive Gayle Sloan said,”…a drop in demand for materials processed by such companies has led to stockpiles building up.”
It isn’t only the government’s job to help the landfill by funding company’s, the citizens have an equal responsibility in reducing waste and landfill. We need to use more recyclable and biodegradable materials and need to get rid of our waste properly as well. A possible solution we all can use is that we should learn how to compost our green waste and the use it as fertilizer in our plants. If we all come together we can do this.