National Recycling Week puts the focus on doing more

As part of National Recycling Week, Veolia ANZ is aiming to raise awareness about what more Australians can  do to fast-track national recycling progress.

Veolia's household recycling facilities in Australia receive and process more than 160,000 tonnes per year of recyclable material but ultimately, Australia needs to do better at recycling.

The 2022 National Waste Report found Australians generated almost 3 per cent more waste compared to 2018/19, and the national recycling rate remains stagnant at 60 per cent. It also shows that:

In 2020/21, Australia generated an estimated 75.8 million tonnes (Mt) of waste, equivalent to 2.95 tonnes per person. The largest waste categories were building and demolition materials (25.1 Mt), organics (14.4 Mt), ash (12 Mt), and hazardous waste (7.4 Mt).Recycling and recovery rates were highest for metals (87%), building materials (81%), paper and cardboard (62%), organics (58%) and glass (59%).

More recycling and more diverting recyclable materials from landfill will greatly improve the stagnant national recycling rate.

Veolia CEO and Managing Director Dr. Richard Kirkman says Veolia is committed to sustainability through our business initiatives, but improving the 60 per cent recycling rate means we all need to boost what we’re doing.

“Reducing our consumption is not enough, we need to ensure products are designed in a way that they can be recycled when consumers are done with them - that will help significantly."

“We need standardised mandates across the country for FOGO (food organics, garden organics), where local councils provide a bin for food scraps and garden clippings - so we can turn that into compose and it can be reused.

“We also need more energy from waste facilities, which work to create energy by diverting certain things from landfills like sludge, food waste and other items that can't be recycled.

“Importantly, doing all of these things will also help create more Australian jobs into the future - we know it takes 8 jobs to recycle one water bottle, compared to 1 job to landfill that bottle.”

Veolia ANZ intends to increase its workforce by around 1000 people over the next four years, in response to the increasing demand for jobs in the circular economy and renewables sector. Many of the jobs in the sustainability sector require similar skills to those jobs in heavy industry.  

Click for more information on types of Veolia recycling, including:

Food Organics and Garden Organics


Paper and cardboard

Electronic waste

Veolia Group aims to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Present on five continents with nearly 220,000 employees, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy that are contributing to a radical turnaround of the current situation. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them. In 2022, the Veolia group provided 111 million inhabitants with drinking water and 97 million with sanitation, produced nearly 44 million megawatt hours and recovered 61 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 42.885 billion euros in 2022.


Valeria Cheglov, Head of Communications and Public Policy | +61 0438 494 351| [email protected]