Kangaroo Island community increases green waste recycling by 68 per cent, lags in general recycling

The Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority team - Joanne McPhee, Jason Peel, Darren Stephens and executive officer Simon - are proud of their recycling results.
The Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority team - Joanne McPhee, Jason Peel, Darren Stephens and executive officer Simon - are proud of their recycling results.

The Kangaroo Island community has increased the amount of green waste it recycles by 68 per cent over the past 12 months.

This means less waste trucks on the ferries and a new, Island-made compost product available to improve Island soils.

More can be done however as the latest figures show Kangaroo Island still has a way to go in general recycling, not quite cracking the 50 per cent mark like our mainland counterparts.

Although to be fair, the bushfire disruptions probably had an impact on KI's yearly figures.

The positive however is that on KI, an additional 132 tonnes of food organic and green organic waste has been collected by the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority kerbside waste collection truck.

The waste is put through a grinder, composted to kill any weeds and screened to produce a range of mulch and compost products that can be purchased from the KI Resource Recovery Centre on the Emu Bay Road.

The products include cottage mulch, garden blend and standard mulch and vary in price from $32 to $45 per cubic meter.

These products can add vital nutrients to your soil, reduce weed growth and improve plant development as well as promoting the circular use of materials.

FRWA executive officer Simon Grenfell said the KI community continued to embrace recycling and waste diversion.

The Island had increased the amount of waste diverted from landfill by 6 per cent from 43 per cent in 2018/29 to 49 per cent in 2019/20.

"This is a great result for the community and the KI Council," Mr Grenfell said.

Throughout 2019/20, the Fleurieu region's residents stepped up their efforts to divert more waste than ever from landfill.

Residents in the Victor Harbor Council were among the best performers, with the region diverting 61 per cent of its waste from landfill, followed by Alexandrina Council (58 per cent) and District Council of Yankalilla (56 per cent).

Kangaroo Island however trailed the pack at 46 per cent diverted.

Mr Grenfell said both the bushfire and coronavirus disruptions probably played a role in Kangaroo Island's 2019/20 figures.

He encouraged Islanders to continue their efforts with diverting and recycling organic waste even more important on KI, given the Island had no landfill with waste transported off Island on SeaLink ferries.

On average across the four councils, the waste to landfill rate fell by 9 per cent for the year, successfully keeping 933 tonnes of waste from ending up in landfill, and reducing the region's landfill levy bill by $56,000.

Figures also show a huge 38 per cent increase in the recycling of food and organic waste across the four councils over the past year.

That change alone has diverted 2145 tonnes of waste from landfill.

KI resident Bev Maxwell meanwhile wrote a letter to the editor this week saying how pleased she was to see that Drakes supermarket in Kingscote now has a soft-plastic recycle bin.

She encouraged everyone to take the opportunity to drop off their soft plastics, preferably clean, into the Drakes plastic bin.

For more information on recycling and waste services please visit the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority website at www.frwa.com.au

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