For years, Australia has had a large landfill problem and it is not going away. Astonishing percentages of recyclable items end up in landfill. For example, only 18 per cent of single-use plastics are recovered from recycling, with 11 per cent leaking into the environment, mostly oceans, according to the latest WWF plastic report for Australia, which was done in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group. When it comes to residential waste, 20 per cent of what goes into a red bin should be recycled.
Individual behaviours need to change and this can start now. Rather than lecture, a local company wants to create a fun, fresh and tech-driven experience that draws people in, according to Giorgio Baracchi, who is the CEO of RecycleSmart, a company that is trying to change the way people think about recycling.
“We are here to change the way people feel about recycling so they recycle more things, more often. We achieve that by making recycling digital, fun and easy. We believe recycling should be something you look forward to doing,” said Baracchi.
The company is almost like an Uber Eats or Doordash for recyclables. Partnering with councils, it offers a user-centric approach to recycling whereby residents can book their pick-up via an app or website) leave their bag of recyclables at their doorstep and a driver will come and take it away to ensure it is recycled properly.
It cover the four main categories of waste that have been problematic in homes – soft plastic, E-waste, clothes, as well as problem waste such as batteries and globes.
The company has six councils onboard, including the City of Sydney council. It hopes to be serve all of Sydney in the next 12 months.
“Across the nation, we are looking at ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill (…) so we are constantly looking at initiatives that assist our residents in achieving that goal…” said Graham HOPE, waste manager for Randwick City Council.