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Reducing waste

When someone says they are going to throw something away, where is 'away'? There is no magical place where our trash just vanishes. Instead, it ends up somewhere else in our environment, where toxins can leak into the water, soil and air. We can never fully escape the mess we create, which is why the five Rs - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle - are so important.

Our growing population, economy and demand for resources has brought prosperity and wellbeing to many Australians. It has also resulted, however, in a lot of waste being created.

Sustainability Victoria has surveyed Victorian councils about their waste and recycling services since the year 2000. For the financial year 2013-14, the amount of garbage, recyclables and green organics collected by local government in Victoria was 2.1 million tonnes. That’s equivalent to 363kg per person.

That figure includes recycling and green organic waste diverted from landfill. But it still leaves 194kg per person of rubbish! And that’s three percent more than the previous financial year.

While rates of recycling and composting have increased over the decades, we still send too much waste to landfill. Read more about the problem, and what you can do to solve it, in the articles below.