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What Is Rubbish?

Rubbish refers to unwanted material. It is thus thrown away after use, or it becomes worthless. As human beings, we purchase and produce different products, which later on become worthless after use. Once a product has lost its value and become useless for us, we consider it to be rubbish. However, what amounts to waste depends on each person. What one person identifies as waste could be a vital resource for another.

The production and disposal of waste is a significant threat worldwide, especially in Australia. Waste is produced domestically and commercially, with Australia as the leading state in production as well as in other spheres of rubbish recycling. Due to an inherent ignorance about waste production and disposal, most people are not aware of essential facts about rubbish.

This article seeks to outline the primary facts about rubbish. But first, let’s look at the different categories of waste.

Categories Of Rubbish

Rubbish is divided into various categories:

• Municipal waste, including household rubbish, garden waste, commercial rubbish, and demolition or renovators waste.

• Biomedical debris, including clinical trash.

• Hazardous waste, including industrial waste.

• Radioactive waste, electronic waste, and explosive waste.

Top Facts About Rubbish

There are various facts about rubbish that most people do not know. In this article, we bring you the most interesting of these facts. Let’s get right into it!

Facts About Rubbish in Australia

• Australia is ranked as one of the leading waste-producing states in the world. In 1999, Australia became the second leading country in waste production. Research shows that Australia produces waste twice as much as its total population. On average, an Aussie produces more than 1.5 tonnes of waste annually.

• Generally, the average Australian household produces rubbish worth filling a three-bedroom house every year. This is very high as compared to other countries. It amounts to about 2.25 kg from every home per year when quantified.

• Wasted food forms the most significant part of the rubbish produced by most households in Australia. While Australia has enough food to feed 60million and above citizens every year, wasted food forms the most significant part of rubbish in the nation. Research previously conducted indicated that an average Australian household disposes of about $1,226 worth of food rubbish every year, with Aussies throwing away food worth $3.5k annually.

• A significant population in Australia struggles to eat each day while other Aussies produce over 3.3 million tonnes of food waste products every year.

• Australia also has a challenge with the proper disposal of plastic bags and aluminium rubbish. This is a significant threat since the country utilises over three billion aluminium products and close to 3.92 million plastic bags every year. Statistics indicate that ten million plastic bags are used daily in Australia. This kind of use leads to high quantities of plastic bags and aluminium rubbish every year.

Facts About Rubbish Recycling in Australia

• Not only does Australia produce natural rubbish, but it also produces high quantities of e-waste, about 140,000 tonnes according to the estimates. The statistical record on recycling e-waste reveals that only 4% of the e-waste in Australia undergoes recycling.

• The rates of recycling paper in Australia are high and significant progress has been made. Statistics show that Australia uses millions of tonnes of paper products every single year. This is attributed to how every office, household, company, school, and other institution uses paper in Australia. Even though the production of paper rubbish is high in Australia, the country leads worldwide in paper and cardboard recycling. The recycling rates are as high as 87%, placing the country at the top of the list.

• The rates of waste recycling in each Australian household are relatively reasonable. For instance, in Victoria, it is estimated that every family that recycles waste products saves almost 8,960ML of water every year. This data contributes to satisfying the water consumption of over 3,370,000 persons residing in the region in a week.

Facts About Plastic Rubbish

• In the world, plastic forms the most considerable amount of rubbish produced. As per the records, Australia has produced over 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic so far. Out of all the plastic made in Australia, only 9% is recycled, 12% incinerated, while the most significant percentage is thrown into the oceans, waterways, and landfills.

• Under the category of plastic rubbish, plastic straws are the greatest danger. Plastic straws are unrecyclable and pose a significant threat when disposed of into the waterways.

• The production of oil also has increased the rates of waste disposal. According to records, 10% of the oil produced is used to create and transport disposable plastic products like kitchen wares, plastic bottles, etc. This, then, leads to a rise in plastic rubbish.

Commercial Contribution of Rubbish

• Education institutions contribute to vast amounts of waste products every year. The waste products from schools are contributed to by the intensive use of paper, meals, destroyed property, and students littering.

• Supermarkets produce high quantities of wasted fruit rubbish. For instance, supermarkets decline tenders of about 20-40% of fruits that they receive due to the required cosmetic standards in Australia. The destroyed fruits always end up disposed.

• Bottled water companies are the most significant waste-producing companies worldwide. They use a lot of plastic and other materials in their production, thus amounting to high quantities of waste products. Similarly, research indicates that every household in Australia purchases over one billion plastic bottles every year. Further, people worldwide buy one million plastic bottles every minute. However, only 20% of all purchased plastic bottles are recycled.

Facts About Rubbish in Landfills

• Almost all the rubbish collected eventually find their way into the landfills. Over 80% of the waste found in landfills is entirely recyclable and could be recycled. However, landfills now form the most significant agent of soil erosion in Australia.

• High quantities are diverted away from the landfills just like high amounts of rubbish are taken there. For instance, following research, 95% of recyclable garbage, 97% of organic rubbish, and 55% of general domestic waste were taken out of the landfills in 2015.

• It takes over one hundred years for an aluminium can located in a landfill to decompose. However, the energy produced through recycling a single can of aluminium can efficiently operate a TV set for two hours.

Rubbish in Oceans and Seas

• The oceans are widely misused avenues for waste disposal. They harbour at least over 1.4 billion tonnes of rubbish. Research indicates that over eight million waste products would have been deposited in the oceans by the end of this year.

• Rubbish in the sea directly affects human beings living on land. We, humans, use water from the sea. Similarly, we now consume the sea animals that feed on the sea rubbish. This exposes us to extreme dangers.

• Waste products such as heavy acids, industrial metals, sewage, and nuclear reactors are thrown into the oceans and waterways, disrupting the reproduction, growth, and behaviour of marine organisms.

• Human production and the use of non-recyclable plastic products are a significant threat to the ocean and ocean life. If this trend continues, the oceans will eventually have more plastic waste than living animals.

General Facts About Rubbish Worldwide

• In the world, 99% of what people buy is turned into rubbish within six months of use. This means that if you could place all the waste produced worldwide in large trucks, the trucks would go around the globe 24 times.

• Before reaching the stage where they can quickly and effectively use potties, every child will have used vast quantities of nappies that could fill a family car. However, this threat is being minimised through the establishment of several companies recycling used nappies.

• On average, human beings dispose of over 50 million tonnes of electrical rubbish every year worldwide. The electrical waste includes old computers, TV sets, stereos, kitchen equipment, old phones, chargers, electrical cables, etc. If you could decide to have all the electrical waste produced in Australia in large lorries, you would end up with four million such vehicles.

• It costs a lot of money to deal with rubbish. In our daily lives, we spend more on disposing of waste products than on other essential sectors such as libraries, household equipment, schools, parks, etc.

• In most states, the residents keep throwing away old carpets, which has dramatically increased the quantities of carpet rubbish. The disposal of carpets still goes on, causing a lot of mayhem in the environment.

• Glass rubbish does not readily decompose. They can take over a million years in a landfill before they fully decompose.

• Funerals cause a lot of emotional pain. However, they contribute significantly to rubbish. Whenever a person is buried, vast amounts of wood, steel, copper, and other toxic chemicals are deposited in the soil. The more people are buried, the more rubbish is deposited into the soil every year.

• Rubbish does not consist of only household waste; industries, vehicles, and constructions also produce a lot of rubbish.

• During the holidays we often tend to produce more waste than the regular workdays. This is because when we are idle or simply free, we buy and consume a lot of commodities, thus creating high quantities of waste in return.

• Waste exists in various states. Primarily, we recognise hard rubbish. However, there are also gaseous waste products and liquid waste products. Did you know that water could also be a waste? Yes, for instance, if you have a leaking tap, it could cause over 10,000 litres of water waste in a year.

Waste Disposal Facts

• Inappropriate disposal of rubbish terminates various lives of living things. The disposal of waste into the oceans causes massive deaths of marine life. Similarly, improper disposal of debris into the soil leads to the death of soil-living organisms. Furthermore, the emission of waste into the air causes air pollution and kills most birds and other insects. Humans also die from pollution caused by rubbish. As per the records of the United Nations Development Program, over five million individuals die from diseases caused by inadequate handling of waste products.

• Generally, the world suffers from improper and inadequate waste disposal. According to the (UNCHS) United Nations Centre for Human Settlements statistics, municipal councils collect only between 25 -55% of the entire rubbish produced in major cities. This is lower than the expected ratio.

• Developed countries produce a lot more rubbish than developing countries. Research shows that they make over half the total trash produced worldwide. The establishment of nuclear production units primarily for commercial purposes in these states has led to vast quantities of radioactive waste. It has also led to the accumulation of over 10,000 tonnes of irradiated fuel. Further, the developed states are related to the production of 325-375 million tonnes of hazardous and poisonous rubbish that is generated every year. This kind of waste is primarily produced from the chemical and petrochemical industries.

Consumption and Waste Production Facts

• The production of rubbish by most states is the leading source of carbon dioxide.  Human beings produce over 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year through food waste disposal. The improper handling of this gas causes a significant effect on climate change. Now, should one create a country from the total rubbish generated, that country would be the most significant producer of carbon dioxide. Currently, the United States of America and China are the leading states that produce carbon dioxide worldwide.

• The citizens of European nations throw away more wasted food, almost fifteen times, than the typical citizen of an African state.

• Recent statistics revealed that there are 759 million individuals that suffer from malnourishment caused by hunger worldwide. However, it would only take a quarter of the wasted food thrown away to feed these undernourished individuals.

• Some domestic animals are responsible for making generated rubbish toxic, especially dogs. Dogs like marking places, especially when they consider such places unique. They do this by urinating on them. A bag or bin of litter along the streets could easily attract the dog. Once the dog pees on the trash, it is highly likely to become toxic.

• Developing nations waste 40% of the produced food after harvesting and processing, while developed states waste 40% of the produced food at the retail and consumer levels of production.

Rubbish Is Undoubtedly A Major Problem

Australia generates considerable rubbish every year, with each household producing over the expected quantities. Over 4 billion plastic carry bags are used in Australia every year, with only 3% being recycled. The state also throws away over $8 billion through wasted food.

The excess waste deposited in the ocean kills one million marine lives every year. While plastics take thousands of years to decompose, rubbish takes millions of years to decompose. In addition, over half of the total waste produced in Australia comes from construction and demolition.

We will need to make significant changes with this dangerous state of affairs. We have to improve how we handle waste products and devise better means of waste removal. Rubbish removal can be done domestically on an individual or home basis. However, there are also professional means of dealing with waste. If you face challenges removing waste, it is crucial to contact a professional to help.