Circular Economy

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We are working to redefine the concept of waste, improve resource recovery and build a circular economy for our beautiful city.

Our vision:

To be the first city in Australia to achieve ‘zero avoidable waste to landfill (‘zero-waste’)
—Resource Recovery Strategy and Action Plan 2020–2028

This aligns with the State Government’s target for:
‘the diversion of all waste from landfill where it is technologically, environmentally and economically practicable to do so. ‘Unavoidable’ waste therefore refers to wastes for which no other current treatment is available including (but not limited to) asbestos, toxic and quarantine waste.’

What is a Circular Economy?

We need natural resources to make items we use every day but we're using more than we can regenerate each year.

This linear economy follows a ‘take, make and waste’ model that results in lost resources and lots of waste.

But there is a better way.

In a circular economy all items are used for as long as possible then recycled for future use.

The outcome is less waste, lower greenhouse gas emissions, fewer natural resources used, and increased potential of economic growth and greater employment opportunities.

Circular economy diagram

Our Resource Recovery Strategy and Action Plan 2020–2028

Our Resource Recovery Strategy and Action Plan (organics, recycling and waste) 2020-2028 outlines an 8-year guide to rethink waste management and recovery, and build a circular economy in our city.

The plan was developed after a review of how we manage and reduce our waste, recycling and organics.

Find out more

Thumbnail strategy action plan resource recovery

Key programs and projects

Other projects

Education is key to positive change in waste and recycling habits.

The council connects with all residents, businesses and users of the city to reduce waste and increase resource recovery.

City of Adelaide is committed to reducing food waste to landfill by 50 per cent.

Residents are entitled to a free kitchen caddy and compostable caddy liners.

The caddies help divert food waste from red waste bins.

Residents can collect a caddy at our Customer Centre, community centres or libraries, or order online.

City of Adelaide is working to tailor support services for residents in Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs)

Services include new education materials and solutions to target elimination of food from waste bins.

Multi-lingual toolkits are being created both online and in hard copy so that all residents can fully utilise the four-stream collection service.

The council helps businesses improve resource recovery and divert waste from landfill.

A new taskforce has been introduced to guide businesses through a customer-centric platform and help with resource recovery and waste management.

More than 100 businesses have been supported since May 2021.

City of Adelaide is proud to lead from the front.

In 2022 the council implemented a new internal recycling system across all its sites.

The system is designed to separate as many resources as possible and keep them from landfill.

The City of Adelaide has partnered with Central Adelaide Waste and Recycling Authority and Australian Food & Grocery Council to bring city residents a kerbside collection soft plastics recycling trial.

The opportunity is part of our commitment to helping our community reduce waste and recycle more.

This trial is open to 1,000 City of Adelaide residents and will assess how we can recycle soft plastics through kerbside yellow recycling bins, keeping them out of landfill and giving them a new life.

The City of Adelaide has installed recycling rails for 10c drink containers on existing city bins as part of a trial which aims to make recycling easier and more accessible for everyone. By introducing recycling rails, we hope to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and create a more sustainable environment for our city.

Our recycling rails have been installed on a number of existing city street bins in key locations around the city, including Paul Kelly Lane (2 bins), Exchange Place (1 bin, northern end), and Grenfell Street (1 Bin, southern side). Whenever you see one of our recycling rails, simply use it to help keep containers out of landfill and give them a new life.

We're committed to making Adelaide a more sustainable city, and this project is just one of the many ways we're striving towards that goal. We believe that every small step towards a more sustainable future counts, and we invite everyone in our community to join us in this initiative.

Need more information?

If you have any further questions, please contact our Sustainability team: