RECYCLING efforts in Bendigo have saved greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to three days worth of electricity use, Sustainability Victoria said.
But there is scope for improvement, with comparable regional centres saving enough to power every home about a week.
Kerbside recycling in Ballarat saved greenhouse gases equivalent to powering every home for 10 days, while Geelong saved enough to power homes for a week.
About 67 per cent of the 12.67 million tonnes of waste generated by Victorian households in 2015-16 was diverted for recycling – 8.49 million tonnes, in total.
Sustainability Victoria interim chief executive officer Carl Muller said councils were working hard to increase recycling rates by expanding their services.
“Recycling reduces the impact of climate change because recovered resources can go into new products and reduce the creation of greenhouses gases like methane,” Mr Muller said.
“It also helps us to get the maximum value from the things we use. Dumping rubbish in a landfill costs us all money, but recycling is less expensive and creates local jobs.”
He encouraged people to find out more about the recycling services available in their local area.
“People are often surprised to find out what they can put in their kerbside recycling bins,” Mr Muller said.
The statutory authority also supports the development of technologies utilising recyclable materials, including using waste plastic, glass and rubber to strengthen building products or replace other materials such as the aggregate in concrete.
“There’s also the potential for councils and businesses to use organic waste to create energy,” Mr Muller said.
Sustainability Victoria’s comments coincide with National Recycling Week, which ends on Sunday.