Most of us know how to recycle, at least in principle, and can successfully divvy up what belongs in the red bin versus the yellow.
But there is a third bin option that only 38.5 percent of residents in The Barossa Council have taken up, and that’s the green lidded organics bin.
In many places, organics bins are already mandatory, including in townships of Light Regional Council. While that hasn’t happened in the Barossa yet, adding a green bin to your receptacle repertoire has some compelling environmental advantages.
When organic material gets sent from our bins straight into landfill, it generates Methane as it breaks down. As far as global warming is concerned, Methane is up to 25 times worse as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
So while you thought you’d endured the worst of the gas created by last week’s curry, it turns out the leftovers you threw into the red bin are responsible for a far more damaging stench.
“As it stands, as much as 40 percent of the material in our household waste bins sent to landfill is food and organic waste which could be diverted through the organics bin,” said Mr David Speirs, Minister for Environment and Water.
“Every 1,000 tonnes of organic material diverted from landfill can save 600 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions.”
The State Government has set a target of a 35 percent reduction in waste to landfill by 2020 based on 2003 numbers.
In The Barossa Council area, tonnage of rubbish to landfill reduced by 8.5 percent last financial year, but choosing to have a green bin at your residence or business can help reduce our waste footprint even further.
Certainly in Light Regional Council, the amount of waste directed to landfill has been steadily trending downwards for a number of years.
Mr Ryan Remillard and his team at Fleur Social in Nuriootpa, are long time practitioners of environmentally responsible waste management.
“When we opened our business, we opened with the intention of doing everything as ethically as we can,” said Ryan, who grew up in Canada surrounded by a recycling culture years ahead of Australia.
Fleur Social operates with its own compost as well as two green organics bins, a large cardboard bin, and regular recycling.
Fleur Social’s takeaway BioPak coffee cups are also fully biodegradable and compostable, meaning they can be thrown, lid and all, into the green bin.
They’re a more expensive option than regular takeaway cups, but Ryan believes the added cost is worth it.
“It’s not about making an extra five cents per coffee,” he said.
“That’s selling out the next generation.”