5 ways to make a difference | National Recycling Week

National Recycling Week launched in 1996 – nearly 20 years ago. The goal was to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. They’ve aimed to promote kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiatives as well as give people the tools to minimise waste at home, work and school.

National Recycling Week runs 10 – 16 November. But how can you have an impact on waste and recycling in your own life? We’ve got the goods – five things you can do to positively impact recycling and waste management.


1. Be a Responsible Runner

Responsible Runners first hit the sand on Bondi Beach, collecting rubbish and cigarette butts and preventing them from entering the ocean. It’s a simple concept – a bunch of people who like to run / walk / skip for fitness, but also value a clean beach. Naturally it didn’t take long for the concept to reach the Gold Coast.

Collectively, these running groups have removed hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts from beaches and have collected tonnes of rubbish which would otherwise enter the ocean, causing incredible issues for wildlife and water quality.

There are three regular running groups who meet to give their local beaches a spruce up – it’s an ideal combination of community spirit, action on waste and good ol’ group exercise. You can join a group on Wednesday 5.00pm at the Gold Coast Seaway and Thursdays 5.00pm at either Burleigh or Mermaid. And if those don’t suit, you can start your own Responsible Runners group. Get all the details at the Responsible Runners website.


2. Add your voice to the call for Container Deposit Schemes

15,000 bottles and cans are littered or landfilled every single minute in Australia. Every. Single Minute. The Boomerang Alliance, made up of 30 of Australia`s leading community and environment groups, is campaigning for a 10 cent refund on bottles and cans to reduce the litter and double recycling rates across Australia. But of course, they face fierce opposition from the companies that are responsible for much of this waste. Find out more, and most importantly, add your voice to the call for container deposit legislation at the Boomerang Alliance website.

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3. Clean Up Australia Day – site registrations are open for March 2015

Clean Up Australia Day happens every year in March. This year, it’s estimated more than half a million Australians helped to remove 15 tonnes of rubbish from across the country.  The 2015 Clean Up Australia Day event will take place on the first Sunday of March and the organisers are currently calling for expressions of interest for clean up sites. Do you have a favourite hangout that could do with a spring (actually autumn) clean? Get some friends together, register the site and you’ll be provided with everything you need to pull it all together. Get all the details at the Clean Up Australia Day website.


4. Purge your life of e-waste

We all know what it’s like to accumulate electronic waste. Old mobile phones in the third drawer of the kitchen. A laptop that has a broken screen. A couple of old mice. Keyboards, monitors, old CPUs, old floppy discs. They’re in your home, in your mum’s home and absolutely lurking in every small and large office in Australia. But did you know that during National Recycling Week, Officeworks offers a free service for you to drop off e-waste and have it recycled?

Through their Bring IT Back program, they’ll accept computers and computer accessories. And they’ve also partnered with Planet Ark and Mobile Muster for mobile phones and ink and toner cartridges and have a fourth program specifically for batteries – both single use and rechargeable.

The free drop-off program for e-waste runs during National Recycling Week, 10 – 16 November and nearby participating Officeworks stores are at Southport, West Burleigh, Underwood and Loganholme.


5. Free yourself of single-use plastic

If you compost your food scraps and recycle your cans / tins / bottles / jars, there’ll pretty much only be one thing left in your bin. Plastic. Lots and lots of plastic. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Going plastic free is a challenging and liberating move. Could you do it? The good people over at Plastic Free July have a heap of resources that will help you move in the right direction. Because recycling is really cool, but not producing the waste in the first place has much further reaching benefits – for you and for the planet.


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