Most Australian businesses don’t recycle, don’t care: study

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New study finds that 80% of Australian companies have no green policy in place and don’t care enough to recycle waste when possible.

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A new study has found that almost 80 per cent of Australian businesses don’t recycle – and furthermore, they don’t care.

The study, conducted by Business Waste, Australia’s leading waste and recycling experts, found that the majority of companies have no green policy in place and do not separate recyclable waste from non-recyclable.

Business Waste found that many businesses send most, if not all of their rubbish to landfill.

The study found that many businesses will not sort paper, food and glass waste, despite the practice being widespread in domestic waste collections.Recycle-bin-007

“It reflects very badly upon us as a nation,” said Business Waste Recycling Manager, Jonathan Ratcliffe.

“Other countries have forged ahead with commercial recycling, but a high proportion of Australian companies … can’t be bothered and contribute to the millions of tons of waste we produce every year.”

“Landfill is both wasteful and expensive,” said Ratcliffee, “and businesses are hitting themselves in the bank balance because of their inability or unwillingness to recycle. It’s not a great step implementing a green policy, and it saves money almost from the start.”

According to Business Waste, the most common business products that are not recycling are: paper and cardboard, plastics, electrical waste and printer cartridges.

The Business Waste survey interviewed over 1,200 businesses and found that some companies are prepared to break the law in order to reduce or eliminate their waste-handling costs.

“We’re well aware that some companies will still fly-tip in this day-and-age, but we’ve found some smaller businesses prepared to admit that they dispose of their waste at the household tip while posing as a member of the public.”

“It’s a dangerous game – companies that breach their waste management duty of care face unlimited fines if they get caught.”

Fortunately, the government is introducing new incentive techniques for local SME’s such as green policies, recycling, tax breaks for energy efficiency, and the introduction of the landfill tax, which penalizes organizations that do not recycle waste.

“At up to $102 per ton going to landfill, it soon adds up for companies that don’t recycle,” said Ratcliffe.

“Our company is committed to the vision of a zero-waste, 100% recycled economy. We do our best to help our clients reduce their waste bills.”

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  1. Marka 5 years ago

    I would like to be able to recycle the paper that gets thrown away, unfortunately there is no way for me to do so in the building where the office is located (Melbourne CDB)

    • Jacob David Tannenbaum 5 years ago

      You could sign up for VISY or a document disposal service, but there’s currently no incentive to do so. Perhaps they should institute a rewards program that allows businesses to bear some kind of green insignia?

  2. Kevin O'Dea 5 years ago

    I worked as a garbage bin collector at a local horserace meeting, a while ago, where bins were recycable and normal bins, the punters were doing the right thing, placing cans and bottles in the right bins, etc, but we would wheel these things out to the truck at the gate and the contents of both would be placed in the truck and disposed of in the same way. So it does seem to be a total charade designed to make people feel good in their behaviour.

  3. Joel Harrison 5 years ago

    Great article Emma. It certainly is important to encourage businesses to see the financial benefits as well as the economic benefits of recycling.

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