Week 2 Lecture

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Kath McLaughlin– Waste Education Officer for the City of Sydney

McLaughlin’s talk about waste management process was very insightful and informative, showing statistics that bring the humble garbage bin into a new light. It was quite startling to see the actual numbers such as $1 billion worth of uneaten food in Sydney, $1.56 billion waste on clothes and accessories and how 80% of sellable products end up as waste in just six months! What is quite worrying is the fact that 70% of an average household bin can be recycled or turned into compost.

It was a good experience to actually have someone so passionate about waste and working in the field to speak to us, explaining the waste problems to the very core, as well as being able to explain the waste management process form experience. It was interesting to note that the City of Sydney council only manages residential waste- businesses are a different thing altogether.

Perhaps the main thing to remember coming out of the talk was to try and reduce the waste going to landfill. Not only does it produce toxic sludge (leachete) that can contaminate the surroundings but there is also the issue of space and costs of running the service which is ultimately not the most ideal solution environmentally.  It was also intriguing to see how some recyclable products can be turned into unexpected thing such as fleecy jackets, road signs and banner bags! It was important to hear these things from someone who works for the council, as there were some misconceptions that could be cleared right off the bat, such as how aerosols are recyclable or taking lids off bottles is very important in the process of crushing into bale presses.

While these information seem very basic, it’s sometimes important to go back to the basics as it could reveal any little things that can be useful for future solutions.


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