Resource recovery of domestic solid waste using source separation recycling : case study, Glenorchy, Tasmania

by D L(David Leroy),1944- Clouser

Institution: University of Tasmania
Year: 1987
Keywords: Recycling (Waste; etc.); Salvage (Waste; etc.)
Record ID: 1033351
Full text PDF: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/18861/1/whole_ClouserDavidLeroy1987_thesis.pdf


The industrialized world is facing an increasing problem of solid waste management. Voluntary household source separation recycling of domestic waste items has not had the publicity that centralized, large-scale, capital-intensive systems have had. Rather, source separation recycling projects have been dependent on the efforts and goodwill of individuals, council officers, industries, charitable groups and other environmentally-conscious people in the community. This research examines the various reasons for the mounting waste problems and the historical attitudes to and practices of waste management. The historical overview provides a perspective of how early mankind viewed domestic waste. In the Middle Ages, waste was either ignored or very casually dealt with on an individual basis until the connection between waste and disease was made in Britain in the early 1800s. The American experience of waste management is contrasted with the Australian experience. The less dense settlements in most Australian cities and towns in the 1800s allowed a freer and more cavalier attitude towards waste disposal, as domestic animals were used to 'recycle' the food scraps. It was not until the local councils in the middle of the 1800s at the insistence of the cities' health officers emphasized the disease and waste connection, that public 'tips' were opened usually at the edge of the towns for public waste disposal. The historical backcloth provides the context for the discussion of the rise of environmentalism and the more recent concern for the natural environment. The recycling ethos arose out of the environmental movement of the 1960s. The Glenorchy Case Study sought to establish whether or not a weekly, source separation, multi-material (glass, paper, and aluminum cans) recycling project could be viable in the Glenorchy Municipality, on the northern edge of Hobart, Tasmania. The Study measured three neighborhoods' weekly participation rates over 8 quarters or 2 years. The neighborhoods selected were of high, medium and low socioeconomic level. The detailed participation rates over 2 years of weekly data and the $ amounts of recyclables collected were tabulated. A comparison between the 3 test neighborhoods showed that Neighborhood A, the highest socioeconomic neighborhood, had a higher rate of participation and generated a higher $ value of recyclables. The use of the questionnaire survey as both a data-gathering method and as a publicity technique proved to be a successful tool in maximizing the use of limited financial resources for the start-up of the recycling project. The results of the Glenorchy Study showed that 6 out of 10 householders sampled said they attempted to recycle their refillable glass bottles. Only 53% of householders surveyed said they either returned their deposit bottles for redemption or gave them to a collector. Only 8% of the surveyed households said they discarded their deposit bottles in the normal garbage collection. Overall, almost 8 out of 10 householders said they either recycled or reused…