Why your recycling matters

Last updated: 23 June 2020

Victorians are great recyclers. But why is recycling so important to us and the environment?

There is more to recycling than making the most of what we already have.

Recycling is power

Recycling can be pretty powerful stuff. In fact, recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours, or a fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.

Recycling also saves energy because making products from recycled materials uses less energy than making them from new materials. Making a new drink can from recycled aluminium only uses 5% of the energy needed to make a can from scratch.

Recycling reduces the use of raw materials

Raw materials are things like iron ore and oil. When they are taken from the earth and processed for use, it generates air and water pollution which is a huge problem for our environment.

Making products and packaging from recycled materials uses much less of these raw materials, reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Recycling results in less waste to landfill

By recycling everything you can, you’re significantly reducing the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill. You’re also keeping lots of useful things from being buried and going to waste when they could be of use to someone else or made into new products.

Of the 12.7 million tonnes of waste that Victoria generated in 2015–16, recycling stopped 8.5 million tonnes from being sent to landfill.

Corangamite landfill

Recycling pays off

Waste and recycling employs 12,000 people in Victoria.

So when you recycle, you’re supporting local businesses and helping them to develop new technologies to recycle more materials right here in Victoria.