Recognising that we need to question and act on our consumption and disposal problems is the first step to creating solutions. In Tasmania we bury 444,136 tonnes of materials per year (2010-2014 average). Of this 42% is food & green waste, 18% cardboard & paper, 13% recyclable plastics and 20% building materials (National Waste Reporting 2013). We also bury enormous amounts of concrete rubble, road pavement, glass and bricks which are not reported.  Continue reading


Do you really need that Australia day flag, that plastic hand at the cricket, those pamphlets at the dentist, and those marketing stickers at the school fair? Muster the courage to start saying no to products that end up being sent to be buried in our landfills. Continue reading


We have a waste problem in Tasmania, Australia and the World and we need to rethink the way we do things. Some materials are too expensive to recycle and should just be banned or have a mandatory price put on them to reduce the amount of that particular waste. For example, plastic bag recycling costs around $4572 per tonne and very few people take their bags to Coles for recycling, whereas kerbside recycling only costs $140 per tonne (source MRA Consulting see more).  Continue reading


Make things, fix things, consider more carefully what products you buy, so that you have less rubbish to get rid of later on. Coming out of consumer culture requires breaking the habit of acquiring and instead holding our focus on reducing, fixing and making. Continue reading


As Wendy Jehanara Tremayne writes in her fantastic book 'The Good Life Lab', extending the life of anything is good manners. By sourcing used items to make new things, you help justify the activities and re-sources used in their production, like energy and chemicals, the machines built for their assembly, and the complex systems designed to distribute them. Not to mention the people who participated in the processes, their commutes to work and back again, the children and pets that waited at home, the things they could have done instead, the sunsets missed. Continue reading


Waste is a human concept and also a human problem. In nature there is no waste, as every living thing serves a greater purpose than its own lifespan, and contributes to the growth of something else. Nature is abundant, alive and in a constant state of change and turning waste into organic soil improver can have a really positive impact on the environment. Continue reading


Recycling means that a waste material is returned to a factory where it is re-made into either the same product or something different. It is generally better than sending material to landfill as less new material is needed to be mined to make recycled things, and less energy is used too. However, the environmental, social and economic costs need to be investigated to understand the full implications of sending Tasmania's paper, metal and plastic recycling off-shore.  Continue reading

Run away from the problem

Landfill is currently the main waste management option in Tasmania because, as Mike Richie (MRA Consulting) says, waste is like a river and flows to the cheapest price. With a levy, where you would pay extra (say $100 per tonne) to bury your wastes, people and businesses become motivated to do their best to reduce the amount they send to landfill (and avoid the levy). Consequently recycling, reuse and composting businesses thrive.  Continue reading