The facts about Green Waste in Canberra: taken from the ACT Waste Management Strategy 2011-2025 (ACT WMS)

While the WMS is a wealth of information regarding waste management in the ACT looking forward over the next decade.We want to focus on the information contained in the report regarding green waste and the highly successful strategy Canberra has in place to first collect, then process and then reuse that processed product in what is the epitome of the perfect recycling circle.

The facts regarding green waste or garden waste in the report are as follows :

Green waste fact no. 1 : There are 205 000 tonnes of green waste generated in Canberra every year. Of that amount 200 000 tonnes are recycled and processed into high value composts by local companies contracted by the ACT government. That amount is a staggering 97.5% of green waste being recycled.

Green waste fact no. 2 : This rate of recycling is due to the Canberra public and local businesses high participation rate in the process of delivering non-contaminated garden waste to the recycling facilities.

Green waste fact no. 3 : The ACT WMS report states that ‘Canberra’s high level of garden waste recovery matches international best practice’

Green waste fact no. 4 : Each year 5000 tonnes of green waste ends up going to landfill, this is mainly through some Canberra residents putting green waste into their regular rubbish bins and mixing green waste with their normal rubbish. This amount represents 2.5% of the total amount of green waste generated in the ACT each year.

Green waste fact no. 5 : Green bins are desired by some ACT residents but because of the current system in place, producing an extremely high recovery rate, a green bin would not significantly reduce waste to landfill.

Green waste fact no. 6 : The introduction of a green bin could adversely affect established small businesses currently providing gardening services.

Green waste fact no. 7 : Leading international consulting firm, Hyder Consulting, estimated the cost of establishing an organic waste collection system at $20 million dollars per year by 2021.(Organic waste collection consists of green waste and also food scraps)