Green waste is a vastly overlooked cause of pollution and it makes up a significant portion of the total rubbish in Australia, particularly in Sydney. With this, governments, non-profit organisations, and rubbish removal companies such as Paul’s Rubbish Removal are hand-in-hand in pursuing a common goal: To reuse and recycle green waste materials. But the solution lies in the hands of everyday citizens who generate green waste – and it’s our task to reduce our waste production.
Recycling and reduction start in small things, here are some green waste facts in 2020 that you need to know to give you an idea about how a small step can go a long way to preserve our planet.
Dumping Green Waste is Actually Harmful
Yes, many of us know about composting, but not the proper methods – simply dumping your food waste or garden rubbish in your backyard is not a good idea. While green waste is natural, experts advise against dumping it. Dumping your green waste without proper composting methods allows weeds and pests to accumulate in your garden and eventually on public areas.
In addition, plant clippings and massive grass cuttings can clog sewer lines and potentially block sewages which results in urban sheet flooding. While it is true that natural waste breaks down easily, they have to be dumped in proper compost pits in order to contain the decomposition.
Over Half of All Food Waste Takes Place at Home
Did you know that Australians waste 4,000,000 tonnes of food each year? Furthermore, more than half of this amount takes place at home! On average, a household throws out 345 kilograms of food waste, about the same weight as three standard-sized fridges.
Additionally, the biggest food wasters are young consumers within ages 18 to 24 as well as households with incomes above $100,000 annually. So the next time you go shopping, make sure to have a list of what to buy so you don’t purchase more than what you need, and surf the net for creative food recipes so you don’t rely on takeouts and deliveries the next time your stomach grumbles for a savoury appetite.
Australia’s Green Waste Bridge
If you add up all green waste produced by Australia in a year, it can fill up about 450,000 rubbish collection trucks. Furthermore, if you line these trucks end to end, the convoy would be able to bridge the ocean between Australia and New Zealand more than thrice! Well now you could save up on plane tickets, but crossing this bridge would be absolutely disgusting.
Shredded Paper Actually Belongs to Green Waste Bins
Paper is recyclable, so they say. While this is true for crumpled or big chunks of paper which you use for future DIY projects or send to paper recycling facilities, the case is different for shredded paper. Machines at recycling depots can have difficulties recycling small paper clippings, plus, shredded paper can be easily composted and is a good material for producing mulch together with rotten leaves and other green waste.
The next time you throw out paper residues from your art project or scratch paper, think about shredding them to smaller pieces and adding them to your compost pit whenever possible. Not only will you cut your overall rubbish pile, but your plants also benefit from your waste.
Food Waste Produces Methane
While decomposing, food waste produces methane which is a toxic greenhouse gas. It is 25 times more potent than the carbon compounds that come out of your car exhaust. Every kilogram of organic waste has enough carbon to produce about 0.17kg of methane. But by cutting your food waste generation and practising smart waste management, you also reduce your household’s overall methane generation.
Green Waste Recycling Goes a Full Circle
After Paul’s Rubbish Removal collects your green waste, it is sent to recycling facilities where it will be recycled as compost.
At the recycling facilities, unwanted rubbish is sorted out by hand while green waste is ground and thermally regulated in rows. Heating the green waste kills the pathogens, weeds, and pests. This composted material will then undergo a cleaning process where ferrous materials are separated with huge magnets and repeat the grinding process. This process produces compost that can then be sold back to gardeners and landscapers – making a full circle that benefits all networks involved.
Hidden Impacts of Food Waste
Before food goes to your local supermarket or is delivered to your doorstep, it undergoes a manufacturing process which utilises important resources such as fuel and water. So when you throw out your food, you also waste the water, fuel, and other resources it took to bring the food from the farm to your fridge and eventually to your plate. Keep this in mind the next time you decide to throw away your wonton soup and chicken nuggets.
Recycling Green Waste Produces Energy
You might think the only way to get around the green waste is by using it as compost. However, a process called anaerobic digestion enables green waste to be recycled for energy production.
Green waste is put into tanks without oxygen and is decomposed by microorganisms inside the chamber. As the waste breaks down, it produces a by-product called biogas. This is then collected to be used as fuel to generate electricity. Furthermore, studies show that a banana peel has sufficient energy to fully charge a smartphone twice – and enough banana peels can power a couple of hundred thousands of households a year.
The Wonders of Recycling Paper
Paper is by far one of the biggest industries in the product market – and also comprises a huge proportion of generated green waste. By saving a tonne of mixed paper, you also save a huge portion of the resources required for manufacturing it.
A tonne of paper that is recycled can save the equivalent energy from 625 litres of fuel. Additionally, for the average household, one tonne of paper can save 15-17 trees and 26,498 litres of water. But that’s not it, the same amount of recycled paper could also save you nearly half a year’s worth of electricity. Saving up on paper can go a long way in preserving our globally-shared resources.
Green Waste on a Country Scale
This is a fact that is known for a long time but remains a fact even during 2020. If global food waste is a country, it would become the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the US. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emission recorded annually is from food waste, behind the US’ 5.1 billion tonnes and China’s 10.8 billion tonnes.
2020 will be another year of combating the global crisis that affects every one of us. This is why we need to responsibly manage our share of green waste as well as contribute to ensuring food security. As individuals, you can only do so much to contribute to the greater good – that’s why our professional removalists at Paul’s Rubbish Removal are always ready at your disposal. We have the tools and the knowledge to get rid of all your green waste and make sure we divert as much rubbish from landfills as possible.
Paul’s is much more involved in environmental preservation. With our vast network of composting, recycling, and disposal facilities, the green waste we collect from you will go a long way. We love our planet as much as you do, and we are willing to talk with you about it.
If you want your organic rubbish removed from your household and at the same time want the guarantee that your waste gets as much value even as garbage, set a booking with our friendly staff at 0407 125 125 or email us for inquiries and a free quote.