National Recycling Week was established in Australia by Planet Ark in 1996 to support homes, businesses and communities to learn about, and get involved in recycling. This year, National Recycling Week explores the idea that Waste isn't Waste until it's Wasted. Individuals and groups are invited to consider one new commitment to reduce, re-use and recycle that can make a big difference to the environment.
The waste hierarchy is a picture tool that shows the order of preference given to managing waste. Whilst recycling is an important option, it is placed below waste prevention and minimization in order of priority. Currently only a fraction of the world’s recyclable waste is actually recycled. Reducing waste in the first instance helps keep precious resources out of landfill but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with the production and consumption of goods.
Following local council recycling guidelines is also an important step to saving precious resources from landfill and ensuring successful recycling. National Recycling Week says the focus this year is all about quality rather than quantity.
Sr Caroline Vaitkunas RSM
Peace, Ecology and Justice Office
Columban Mission Centre, Essendon