The Bulletin

30 Australian Recycling Statistics

  • Written by The Bulletin

Recycling has grown to become a very significant part of the Australian economy. With its growth, it's important that all family households understand where it's at, and where it's potentially going.

The kind folks over at Kurt's Rubbish Removal have listed the 30 most impactful statistics that you need to know about the state of Australia's recycling below!

  1. In Australia, recycling rates have increased significantly in recent years – from 34% in 2009 to 45% in 2014. This is largely due to the increase in kerbside recycling collections and a growing public awareness of the benefits of recycling.
  2. Recycling cardboard can save up to 95% of the energy needed to create new cardboard from scratch.
  3. The recycling of aluminium cans saves 95% of the energy that would be used to produce new cans from scratch.
  4. Recycling plastic can save up to 90% of the energy that would otherwise be used to produce new plastic from scratch.
  5. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled and used to make new glass products an average of 29 times.
  6. In Australia, recycling saves around 9 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year – the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road.
  7. The recycling and reuse of paper products in Australia avoids the harvesting of approximately 15 million trees each year.
  8. It takes around 72% less energy to recycle aluminium than to create it from scratch.
  9. Recycling one tonne of plastic can save up to 3 barrels of oil.
  10. Every day, Australians generate enough rubbish to fill Sydney Harbour – about 12 million tonnes a year!
  11. Almost half (47%) of all rubbish collected by local councils is recycled or composted.
  12. In 2013-14, recycling and composting saved councils around $236 million in landfill charges.
  13. More than 60% of the rubbish we throw away could be recycled or composted.
  14. The recycling and reuse of paper products avoids the harvesting of about 600,000 tonnes of timber each year.
  15. It takes around 11% less energy to recycle glass than to create new glass from scratch.
  16. Recycling one tonne of steel saves 2,500 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of driving a car for 1,000 kilometres.
  17. On average, every person in Australia recycles almost four times as much rubbish as they throw away.
  18. In 2012-13, recycling and composting saved local councils around $370 million in landfill charges.
  19. In 2011-12, recycling and composting diverted almost 64% of all rubbish from landfill.
  20. The recycling of electronic waste (e-waste) can save up to 99% of the energy that would be used to produce new electronics from scratch.
  21. It is illegal to dispose of e-waste in Australia’s landfills or incinerators.
  22. More than 95% of the materials found in an Apple computer can be recycled.
  23. The recycling of one million laptops saves the energy equivalent of the electricity used by 3,000 US homes in a year.
  24. In 2013-14, recycling and composting diverted almost 1.3 million tonnes of rubbish from landfill.
  25. It takes around 12% less energy to recycle plastic than to create new plastic from scratch.
  26. The recycling of one tonne of steel saves 1,500 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of driving a car for 500 kilometres.
  27. Recycling just one glass bottle can save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  28. Australians generate 3.2 million tonnes of e-waste each year – the equivalent of 400 Sydney Harbours!
  29. Up to 80% of the materials found in an electronic product can be recycled.
  30. In 2012-13, recycling and composting diverted more than 2 million tonnes of rubbish from landfills.

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Kurt’s Rubbish Removal provides rubbish removal services all across Sydney including to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Hills District, Inner West, North Shore, South Sydney, South West Sydney and Western Sydney.

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