Recycling Activity in South Australia 2016-17

Recycling Activity in South Australia 2016-17
  • Reuse Recovery and Recycling

Recycling Activity in South Australia 2016-17

Each year since 2003-04, Green Industries SA has measured recycling activity and waste disposal to landfill in South Australia (SA) to assess the State’s performance against South Australia’s Waste Strategy. This report presents the results from the SA Recycling Activity Survey for 2016-17. Summary of 2016-17 results: SA’s landfill diversion rate is the highest accomplished since the survey commenced, and the State has once again achieved the highest diversion rate of any state in Australia. The increase in diversion rate is driven by yet another decrease in the volume of waste sent to landfill as well as a substantial increase in recovered Separately Reported Materials and Clean Fill. Although the diversion rate of Standard Reporting Materials increased slightly from 2015-16, this was driven by a decrease in tonnes sent to landfill rather than an increase in the volume of recovered Standard Reporting Materials. Another important area of focus for the State is waste generation per capita. Although this decreased from 2015-16, it remains at an elevated level from the baseline year (2014-15). In this year’s survey, industry commented on challenges associated with China changing its acceptance criteria of recovered materials, particularly plastics and cardboard, which will likely impact the recovery of materials in the 2017-18 financial year. Other discussions with industry indicated that large government projects in the state such as the Northern Connector and Darlington Upgrade have led to increases in the recovery of clay, fines and soil. By the numbers The total resource recovery for SA in 2016-17 was 4.4 million tonnes (see Table 1 below). This comprised: • 2.88 million tonnes of ‘Standard Reporting Materials’ (including metals, organics, cardboard and paper, glass and plastics); • 1.52 million tonnes of ‘Separately Reported Materials’ and Clean Fill (including soil, sand and rubble, which can fluctuate significantly across reporting years). Total landfill disposal for SA was 0.87 million tonnes. Approximately 15% of this landfill disposal was contaminated soil from construction activities (‘Separately Reported Material’). SA therefore achieved a total diversion rate of 83.4% (of waste material diverted to resource recovery).
Download