Australians have become used to recycling, with most now regularly recycling newspapers, bottles, cans and cardboard packaging. But not everyone realises that most things are able to be recycled. Some rather bizarre items are being recycled, for example dentures and chewing gum! A not for profit organisation in Japan found a great way to fundraise by reclaiming metals like gold and silver from discarded dentures. The proceeds are donated to Unicef. An airport in England collects used chewing gum, sending it off for recycling into tyres, toys and other products. Kartaway are dedicated to diverting waste from landfill, recycling most of the waste they receive. Their public Recycling Depots in Melbourne and Adelaide will receive and recycle the following waste:
- green waste
- electronic waste
Some amazing examples of re-using materials can be found in some of the houses people have built around the world from recycled materials. A retired upholsterer, John Milkovisch, built a house entirely from beer cans in the U.S. and Édouard T. Arsenault built a house out of 25,000 recycled bottles in Canada.
Some more conservative structures have been built recently in the Netherlands and Utah, USA entirely from recycled materials. Two Architects from the Netherlands set about building their home from materials discovered in the area, they found recycled steel from an old textile mill which they used for the framework and some old cable reels provided the wood to complete the façade. In Utah a surprisingly modern and gorgeous home has been constructed from two disused silos.
To recycle your items look no further than Kartaway, call 1300 362 362 to order a skip or bin or visit their Recycling Depots.
Australians now see recycling as a way of life, committing to high levels of recycling. It is even more motivating when people understand how much energy is saved through their recycling efforts and the actual impacts upon the environment. Using recycled plastic to produce plastic products saves approximately 88% of energy compared to producing plastic from the raw materials of oil and gas. And what do they produce?
- garden edging
- sign posts
- compost bins
- speed humps
- plant pots
- picnic tables and park benches
- carpet fibre clothing
- automotive parts
- paint brushes
- plastic bottles
Using recycled glass to make more glass products saves 30% of energy. 1 tonne of recycled glass saves 1.1 tonnes of the raw materials sand, limestone and soda ash. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over again indefinitely, even millions of times. Refillable glass bottles are great savers of energy, using 19,000 BTUs of energy, compared to 38,000 BTUs for throwaway bottles. I recycled glass bottle saves enough energy to power four hours of an 100 watt electric light. Making aluminium cans from recycled aluminium saves a massive 95% of energy. One recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours or light a 100 watt bulb for 3.5 hours. As well as cans, aluminium is also recycled into aeroplanes and cars. Recycling steel makes some significant environmental savings, such as 74% savings in energy, 86% reduction in air pollution, 90% savings in virgin materials, 40% reduction in water use, 76% reduction in water pollution and 97% reduction in mining wastes. And what are steel cans and steel scrap made into?
- structural steel
- bolts and nuts
- coat hangers
- steel cans
Kartaway support these recycling efforts and run two public Recycling Depots in Australia, one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide.
Plastic became very popular in modern life during the 1950s and has become a major material used in manufacturing, building and packaging throughout western civilisation. Since its adoption however, it has become a major contributor to landfill and, as plastic does not break down for hundreds of years, it became a major problem. The recycling of plastics began in earnest during the 1980s. Government programs, consumer education and the development of industrial processes to transform discarded plastic into useful materials have all contributed to less plastic going to landfill.
The introduction of PETE and HDPE plastics in the 80’s and 90’s transformed the recycling effort. This type of plastic is able to be recycled and carries the identifiable recyclable logo of three arrows depicting a triangle.
There are more steps required in recycling plastics than in recycling paper, glass and metals. Plastic requires the extraction of dyes, fillers and other additives. The first step in recycling plastic is to sort it by the type of resin used in its structure, of which there are seven basic types, and sometimes it is also sorted by colour. The second step is to chop the plastic into small pieces, then clean it to remove debris and small residue. It is then melted down and compressed into pellets, these are called nurdles. The nurdles are transported to plastic processing plants and introduced into the manufacturing process.
Kartaway are a leading recycling and waste management company in Australia. They are able to recycle most waste collected, including plastics. Providing bins and skips to households, builders, body corporates, shopping complexes, multi storey complexes and educational facilities they sort and recycle collected waste. Kartaway also operate Recycling Depots for the public in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Kartaway are a leading company recycling waste in Australia and are a part of its recycling history. Householders, through necessity, re-used and recycled many items in the early days but recycling on a larger scale began later. As early as 1815 one Australian paper mill used recycled rags to make paper. Waste paper collections were the earliest organised recycling programs, beginning in Melbourne in the 1920s and spread to other cities in the 1940s; cart and horse collections of newspapers from households became common.
Another recycling industry established in earlier times was metals, with Henry Ford recycling his Model T Fords in the 1920s and BHP Steel recycling industrial steel scrap in 1915. Scrap metal dealers recovered and re-sold valuable metals. It was during this era that Paul Joseph Whelan’s demolition business began selling second hand building material from the sites. His company, Whelan The Wrecker, became famous in Melbourne and was the fore-runner to Kartaway.
During the mid 20th century glass bottles had a return deposit on them and were re-used by the manufacturers, popular with children to gain extra pocket money and scouting groups for fund raising. Over 20 years ago Comalco set up a ‘cash for cans’ program with buy-back centres where children and community groups could return cans for cash.
Canterbury Council began using magnetic separation to recover steel waste, including cans in 1975 and in 1977 South Australia introduced container deposit legislation, encouraging the return of beverage containers for recycling.
The need for extensive recycling was finally recognised in the late 80’s and early 90’s when councils introduced kerbside recycling schemes. Households could now separate out common items such as paper, glass and aluminium, and later PET, HDPE milk containers, liquidpaperboard milk and juice cartons and steel cans. In 1997 Kartaway opened the first public Recycling Depot at 32 Kirkdale Rd, East Brunswick. The Depot is able to accept green waste, metal, cardboard, timber, batteries, electronic waste, dirt, brick, concrete and asphalt, diverting these items from landfill.
Chinese millionaire Chen Guangbiao built his fortune through his recycling company, Huangpu Renewable Resources Utilization Group. At the same time, he has boosted his reputation in China with publicity stunts based on philanthropic acts or focussed on environmental messages, such as selling “canned air” in Beijing to raise awareness about ecological issues. He and his wife changed their names to Low Carbon and Green.
Chen began as an entrepreneur at an early age selling clean water to a nearby village, he went on to run several businesses before attending university. He became involved in the demolition of an old stadium in Nanjing. Coming up with the idea of selling the used iron, he hoped to make a profit as he was not being paid for the demolition. It turns out he had the right idea, he made a profit of $272,000!
He then established a recycling company, selling iron to iron and steel companies and recycling cement blocks back into concrete (by mixing with water, cement and sand). He found that all the construction waste could be transformed into at least seven types of building materials, such as landfill, red brick and building blocks. China produces 2 billion tons of construction waste, creating a rich market for recycling.
Kartaway in Australia came about from slightly different beginnings, with James Paul Whelan starting up a cartage company in 1892, gradually moving into demolition and sale of the second hand materials from the sites, and the famous Whelan The Wrecker was born. After a period of acquisition and growth the company became Kartaway and now run public recycling depots in Melbourne and Adelaide. Hiring bins and skips to the public and customising waste management programs for businesses and organisations the business focusses strongly on the recycling of most materials.
Chen Guangbiao has been in the world news recently as he makes a bid for a sizeable share in the New York Times. The Whelan family will probably not follow suite on Chen’s latest venture!
Service, integrity and reliability are values all customers desire. Kartaway, leaders in waste management services, incorporate a culture of service and reliability into their organization. All staff work to the company’s C.L.E.A.R. policy:
“Our Values provide our staff with a platform to make the best decisions for our clients, the environment and the Company”
- Commitment: We will all take responsibility for performing our role in servicing our clients, community and environment and challenge ourselves to do our best.
- Legacy: Our business has evolved over 120 years and whilst we focus upon the present we continue to plan for the future.
- Ethics: Honesty, Integrity and Moral Fortitude are the foundations of our success.
- Alignment: We will support each other in our roles and create an environment of teamwork to foster loyalty.
- Reliability: Our service will be consistent and we will strive to outperform expectations.
Creating a culture of service, responsibility and reliability within the company has resulted in an outstanding level of service to customers. Calls are answered courteously and customers are provided with information and advice on the most suitable waste management services for their organizational needs or, in the case of a householder, the best sized skip or bin for their rubbish removal requirements. Bins are delivered and picked up on time and will be scheduled to fit in with an organization’s daily routine.
Once an organization becomes an account customer they have an Account Manager, who is on hand to offer advice and solve any waste management problems. This same level of service is extended to the public Recycling Depots in Melbourne and Adelaide, which are clean and easy to access with friendly staff providing help to customers.
Another fire caused by tyre stockpiling is linked to an accused murderer, Ron Medich. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 18th that the fire almost gutted a tyre dump in Sydney’s west and the company Carbon Polymers, part owned by Ron Medich, faces expulsion from the site. In New South Wales alone there have been 256 blazes over the past five years linked to tyres.
The issue of fires caused by tyres has concerned industry associations and the recent removal of tyre storage from Queensland’s Department of Environment Environmentally Relevant Activities (ERAs) in the Environmental Protection Regulation has been further cause for concern. The Environment Protection Authority is working with environment group Boomerang Alliance to reduce the number of toxic fires involving tyres.
Kartaway collect used tyres in Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland and ensure that the tyres are then sent to bona fide recyclers. Unfortunately, a criminal element has crept into the market, offering cheap disposal of tyres. The unsuspecting customer is told the tyres are being stored temporarily but the used tyres are being stored in facilities not purpose built to offset the risk of long lasting “oil fires” generated by waste tyres. Unfortunately, most of these rogue operators do not recycle or dispose of the tyres responsibly and stockpiling has re-emerged. When disposing of tyres customers should be asking how and where the tyres are being disposed of. Kartaway customers can rest assured their tyres will be safely recycled. CEO of the Australian Council of Recycling, Grant Musgrove in his submission to the Department of Environment has stated “It is important that regulations are in place to ensure operators that charge customers to collect tyres for recycling do actually recycle or dispose of the tyres without negative impacts on the environment and to human health.” He advises that the environmental costs of these fires is high – waterways, soil and the air are all affected adversely, also posing a risk to human health.