Christmas is a time for giving and it’s also a time for excess.
Over the festive season, waste management facilities across Australia experience a 30 per cent increase in waste per person, and our Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility is no exception. Wrapping paper, packaging, unwanted gifts and tonnes of wasted food all make their way to landfill during end of year celebrations.
Greater landfill influx during this time is not good for the environment, but the good news is that it’s completely avoidable.
A great way to start reducing Christmas waste is avoiding single-use plastics like cutlery, plates and cups. People should consider getting creative with Christmas lunch leftovers as a way helping to reducing the amount of food waste going into landfill.
For other kitchen waste including fruit and vegetables, there are many options for composting systems and worm farms, where you can create compost for your garden or pot plants and prevent waste ending up in landfill.
You can also reduce waste by dropping off any unwanted gifts or items of value to the HPA Trash and Treasure Shop or other second-hand stores across Darwin.
To maximise recycling rates you can reuse or recycle Christmas wrapping paper. However, keep reusing your tinsel, Christmas baubles and plastic Christmas trees for as long as possible as they are not recyclable and will end up in landfill.
Often there is confusion around Christmas lights and household batteries; the good news is both can be recycled, but not in your household waste bins. Shoal Bay Waste Transfer Station accepts Christmas lights as e-waste and have a battery collection depot, there are also many other retail stores that offer battery recycling. We need to make sure batteries stay out of our household waste bins as they have the potential to leak into the environment and cause fires.
Remember, your yellow-topped bin is for mixed recycling. Once its contents are collected, they are taken to a materials recovery facility where they are separated into individual material streams. If material from recycling bins is contaminated it doesn’t get recycled and then gets sent to Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility as landfill.
Take some time to think about your waste this Christmas, and throughout the year. Your efforts can make a big difference in driving up recycling rates and reducing waste to landfill.