Rubbish is no longer just rubbish, it is a golden opportunity for homeowners to make contributions to waste management! This means separating and dealing with types of wastes in different ways. Lucky for you, rubbish segregation is not rocket science. It can be something as simple as keeping your green waste separate from food waste.
Anything that can be traced back to your gardening counts as green waste. Green waste is not waste but rather organic material that is always ready for recycling! The way to do that would be to go the extra mile and segregate it.
For a mundane Adelaide resident, disposing of green waste safely can seem like a huge task that will require some figuring out to do. According to Green Industries SA, in 2017-18, South Australians diverted 83.6% of their waste from landfills. So, great strides are being made, although a few extra steps can help you take this further.
Continue reading to learn more about how to deal with green waste in Adelaide.
What Is Green Waste?
If you are wondering what counts as green waste, just think back to your domestic duties. You may have done a bit of gardening here and there for a relaxing weekend. All the waste that you produce while trying to keep your flora looking flourishing is called green waste.
Any compostable refuse from gardens such as leaves, sticks, and grass clippings fall under the green waste category. Tree waste like loose barks, branches, and chopped trees also counts as green waste. You can also add to this list floral arrangements, weeds, and your old Christmas trees.
What Items Need To Be Separated From Green Waste?
Here is a list of materials to segregate from green waste.
- Brown Waste – This includes carbon-rich items such as dried leaves, twigs, hay, sawdust, pine needles, and similar.
- Garden Chemicals – This includes herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, and similar.
- Miscellaneous Waste – This includes bricks, sand, treated wood, rocks, and similar.
What Happens To Green Waste That Is Dumped In Landfills?
Once your garbage bins head off, you do not tend to give it a second thought as to where it’s heading. You are a busy person, and your time is valuable. From your perspective, recycling or reusing may seem more time consuming than landfill dumping. What you need to do is start considering the long-term consequences of your actions.
You will understand better the benefits of proper waste disposal once you learn of what happens to your waste in landfills.
It Decomposes Without Oxygen.
When you do not segregate green waste, it ends up in the household trash landfills. Household trash is sealed under a tight barrier that does not give any breathing room to the green waste mixed in. Green waste needs oxygen to break down efficiently. However, landfills are only designed to store garbage.
It Produces Harmful Gases And Liquids.
Without oxygen, anaerobic microorganisms take over. The decomposition still takes place but at a slow pace and produces a foul odour.
Besides the foul odour, it also pollutes the air with the emission of greenhouse gases. In case it’s been a while for you, greenhouse gases absorb and radiate heat that warms up the Earth’s atmosphere. These gases, like methane and carbon dioxide, have the potential to quicken the process of global warming, the biggest climate change threat.
Green waste in landfills also produces a liquid called leachate as they decompose. All you need to know about this liquid is that it contains harmful and inorganic chemicals that represent a health risk.
It Pollutes Your Environment.
When leachate is drained, it settles and is treated as wastewater before getting released. Sometimes, leachate does not get treated completely. If not contained, it can pollute the water by seeping into waterways and groundwater. It will also degrade the flora surrounding it, disrupting the ecosystem of the local fauna.
How To Deal With Green Waste?
The Adelaide City Council is working hard to transform Adelaide into the first-ever zero-waste city in Australia. The City Council is positioning programs in all neighbourhoods based on their Resource Recovery Strategy and Action Plan 2020-2028. The plan prioritizes several steps in favour of improving waste education and innovation, redefining the concepts of organics, recycling, and waste.
With all that you have read till now, you have likely come to the conclusion that proper disposal of green waste is crucial. If that is the case, then here is a list of steps for green waste disposal that you can add to your daily routine.
Hire Skip Bins For Hassle-Free Disposal
When it comes to green waste management, the best thing you can do is leave it to experts of rubbish. Skip bins providers offer a convenient way of dealing with green waste that saves time, money, and consequently, the environment.
Smart skip bin providers have partnerships in place with waste management companies in Adelaide. These companies take your waste and recycle it for creating products that nourish the soil and the plants. In doing so, they can get rid of your green waste in the most sustainable way possible. So you do not need to worry about driving to a recycling centre or dealing with the aftermath of landfill dumping.
There are several skip bin hires available in Adelaide. So, keep a few pointers in mind when determining which one to choose. For instance, a reliable skip bin provider will offer quick same-day skip bin delivery and removal that cancels out the need for filling any paperwork. Believe it or not, reliable skip bin providers are genuinely passionate about rubbish. So they will always offer cost-effective solutions to help you out.
Try Your Hand At Composting And Mulching
The cheapest way to deal with green waste is to simply reuse it for your backyard or garden. This is ideal for avid gardeners that enjoy occasionally getting their hands dirty. You can either pile it all straight on top of the soil as mulch or add it to your compost pit.
The nitrogen-rich waste provides raw materials for making enzymes. With this, your green waste acts as a natural fertilizer for the soil that will feed your plants. Furthermore, you are doing your part by reducing the amount of rubbish that goes to landfills.
An extra tip to help you out with your compost – make sure to mix green waste with some carbon-rich matter. This way, the compost will not exude the stinky odour of green waste. Instead, you will be greeted with a wonderful and fresh smell!
Visit A Resource Recovery Centre
One way to make sure that your green waste is getting dealt with responsibly is by visiting a recycling centre yourself. The Adelaide City Council has opened its City of Green Waste and Mulch Centre to the public. The centre accepts all green rubbish and which it later converts into compost and mulch for plants.
If you do not know how to make compost and mulch for your gardens, do not worry. One of the benefits of this resource recovery centre is that it sells quality mulch and compost to the public as well. So you still get a natural fertilizer for your soil without getting involved in the messy work.
The centre is open to both Adelaide residents and non-residents. A big advantage that you would get as an Adelaide resident is free disposal of up to 4 loads of green waste per year. All you will need to do is show your current rate notice and identification.
If you live in Northern Adelaide, you can also get in touch with The Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA). NAWMA is a subsidiary that works with the regional South Australian councils to offer their collection services. They give residents 240-litre FOGO bins and transport your green waste to their in-house resource recovery facility. With them, you will know you are getting the assured services of the government.
Engage With Government-Recommended Programs
The government only keeps in mind what is best for its citizens. So, make sure to look at the recommendations made by the City Council, few of which are mentioned here as well.
If your garden is seeing excess plants and flowers getting thrown without being used, maybe it is time for decluttering the yard. GrowFree is a great Australian initiative that lets you donate your excess flora to someone in need of it.
If you are looking to get affordable composting or mulching equipment, then you can visit the Buy Nothing Facebook Group. This project includes several community groups, including many for Adelaide residents. Neighbours come together to help each other out, whether it is for needing a second hand with making a compost pile or wanting to borrow tools.
Impact Of Recycling Green Waste On The Environment
All the steps we have discussed till now point towards recycling and reusing green waste.
If you take the time to recycle it now, you are saving up exhaustible energy for later. Let’s take a look at what the future can look like if you get smart about your green rubbish.
Liveable Environmental Conditions
By recycling green waste, you can make a serious dent to the production of greenhouse gases. As you reduce the emission of these gases, you also prevent them from spurring global warming. The air, land and water quality is sure to benefit from this.
No quality compost is complete without a healthy balance of carbon, moisture, oxygen and nitrogen. If you decide to recycle the green waste through composting, you can restore or enhance the vitality of your soil. The natural process acts like a soil conditioner that helps retain moisture for optimal plant growth. You can think of it this way – today’s green waste will help you prepare the ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch!
Increased Employment Opportunities
With more and more Adelaide residents becoming environmentally conscious, more resource recovery centres will be opened. According to Green Industries SA, every 10,000 tonnes of waste recycled results in the availability of 9.2 full-time jobs. This way, newly employed personnel in these centres will also be in a good position to improve their quality of well-being.
A Shift From Linear Economy To Green Economy
As of now, our society is following a make-use-dispose model. This approach of ditching materials for good is no longer what we need. With a focus on 100%, recyclable waste like green waste into energy, the green economy will prevail. The bottom line with a green economy is resource efficiency, social inclusivity and low carbon footprint.
Minimized Need Of Landfill Spaces
With most of the green waste heading for recycling, Adelaide can cut down on its need for landfill spaces. The empty spaces can then be rehabilitated into lush green landscapes, community grounds or parks. Now, who would not enjoy the beautiful view of nature, over garbage dumps?
The current era is seeing great innovations to help the world recover from the challenges of environmental destruction. Rather than fighting fires, we as citizens should think long term and take preventive measures. A small step like segregating your green waste can go a long way in conserving energy and reusing materials.
Proper green waste disposal will bring us a step closer to achieving a circular economy. A circular economy promotes the idea of eliminating waste with the continual use of resources. Essentially, you reduce the pressure on the environment, stimulate innovation, and improve the overall quality of life.
From creating a composting system to sending it the proper facilities, green waste can be repurposed in several ways. So, adopt an eco-friendly way of living and the planet will thank you!