NATIONAL: Australians have embraced recycling but are still lagging behind on electronic waste, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The latest report by the ABS found that 99 per cent of households participated in recycling or reusing of waste.
Recycle rates for e-waste lagged behind, with 23 per cent of electronic equipment and 51 per cent of household appliances discarded in the 12 months prior to March 2009 were placed in non-recycled garbage for kerbside collection.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett recently announced that from 2011, households will be able to drop off used consumer electronics for recycling free of charge. He projected that 80 per cent of all televisions and computes would be recycled by 2021.
According to the ABS statistics, paper and cardboard were the most recycled waste items, reused or recycled by 95 per cent of households. This was followed closely by plastic bottles, recycled by 94 per cent of households. Glass had a recycle rate of 93 per cent and plastic bags were recycled by 90 per cent of households.
Kitchen food waste, however, was only recycled by 51 per cent of Australian households.
The ABS report also found that Australians have increased their use of public transport to commute to work or full-time study, rising from 12 per cent in 2000 to 14 per cent in 2009.
However, public transport patronage in New South Wales dropped from 18 per cent to 17 per cent.
According to the report, Australians chose not to use public transport because there was no service available at a convenient time (27 per cent), there was no service available at all (26 per cent) and their private vehicles were more convenient and comfortable (22 per cent).