Were wasting less by half
RESIDENTS of Lismore are producing 864 kilograms of waste per person per year, which is approximately half the national average. The result is a source of pride for waste education officer Kevin Trustum. He is the man who has been behind the push to get nearly 17,000 tonnes of material recycled through Lismore City Council's recycling programs. "Our aim is to save as much waste going to landfill as possible," Mr Trustum said. "Overall waste is still increasing but the amount we are diverting from landfill is increasing too." Currently around 60 per cent of overall waste material is being recycled and 40 per cent is going to landfill. Mr Trustum said his department was hoping to introduce a new waste recovery facility where people could drop everything at a central point and staff would sort through it to further increase the ratio of recycled material. High tech rubbish or 'e-waste' is taking up more and more space in landfill as consumers clamber to buy new flat-screen televisions and upgrade their computers. Mr Trustum said their outdated models often ended up at the tip. These contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and caused arsenic leaching from the tip site into the water table. A lot of computers in Lismore end up at the Revolve Centre, a second hand goods shop on site at the tip. "Any working units including components such as speakers and hard drives usually end up being sold through the shop," he said. Usually computers are dumped in batches when an organisation upgrades. "We're hoping to start a program where we can donate them to charities that can rebuild them and sell them," Mr Trustum said. Mr Trustum said computers that weren't working were stripped for parts. "We collect all of the cords and cables and have the copper taken out. If the computer cases are metal, they are recycled too."