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Canberras NoWaste Hypocrisy

By McGreggor - 24 December 2011 11

I live in a separated 4 bedroom house in a 13 house multi development (for lack of a better word), all stand alone but sharing a common driveway and mailbox.

I recently inquired as to whether we were eligible for a hopper for recycling as currently we have 8 recycling bins for 13 houses, and a waste hopper.

My reply was

“Thank you for your email regarding waste assets at your unit complex. On our database, I have 14 units recorded at this address.

You have a 3m3 waste hopper & your entitlement for recycling MGB’s would be 5. If you have 8 on site, your body corporate must be paying for an extra service. Id you require more MGB’s for recycling, the cost is $53.40 per bin per year.

Your strata manager would be able to order more online if you require.”

Im told the following guidelines:

“Waste is worked out the same, 140ltrs of waste per unit, per week. Complex’s over 10 units have a hopper service for waste, but the allowance is still the same.”

“Recycling is worked out differently, 1 x 240ltr bin per 3 residences. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a hopper for recycling or bins for waste. If you require extra recycling bins, your strata manager can request them online for a fee.”

Has anyone else come across silly legislation like this?  I find it crazy that we can throw out as much as we want, but only recycle once a week(till the bins fill up)

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Canberras NoWaste Hypocrisy
Watson 12:57 pm 07 Feb 12

So do they only collect the recycling bins fortnightly too? If so, that is pretty ridiculous. An average household can fill up that recycling bin in a fortnight easily.

But I would have thought that it is the body corporate’s responsibility to ensure there are adequate waste recycling facilities, within the limitations of the system. So I think you should complain to them and make them use some of your fees on paying for more bins or a hopper.

And to try and do your bit to improve the system in the longer term, write to the Minister and/or your local member.

dvaey 11:13 am 07 Feb 12

We often have that problem, our weekly rubbish bin is rarely upto half full, meaning that all our separated recyclable material just gets thrown in on top. Pretty much every rubbish day, the top half of our rubbish bin is filled with bottles, cans, cardboard, etc, while the yellow-lid bin sits full waiting for its fortnightly pickup.

On occasion, we will take the recycled stuff to the drop-off centre at Tuggeranong, but normally its just easier to throw it in the rubbish bin.

p1 10:38 am 07 Feb 12

pink little birdie said :

I’d vote for anyone who had a policy of getting the recycling bins emptied once a week rather than the once a fortnight.

+1 for this.

pink little birdie 9:59 am 07 Feb 12

I’d vote for anyone who had a policy of getting the recycling bins emptied once a week rather than the once a fortnight.

Bikenut 8:02 am 07 Feb 12

You bought in a body corporate, suck it up.

dungfungus 8:15 am 25 Dec 11

WifiDeTech said :

My first suggestion is to see if your strata management will hire extra recycling bins. Failing that, perhaps write to the local council or member of parliament about getting then relevant law adjusted for atypical multiple unit developments like yours. Failing that, this forum may help if there are many others in the same boat as you. If all else fails, I would recommend putting a poster up on the recycling bin area with a request for people maximise the use of their bins by flattening their recyclables where possible eg. Cartons, boxes and plastic bottles can all be flattened. Glass jars are a notable exception but unless these are washed completely clean, there is no point putting them in the recycling bins as the recycling centre say they will not use them…Come to think of it, I imagine the Greens would be the best parliamentarians to write to about this.

The Greens are all about garbage; don’t expect any action from them however. They have failed miserably to stop the garbage/recycling trucks spilling oil over the Territory’s roads and then having it pollute our waterways.

taninaus 7:58 am 25 Dec 11

WifiDeTech said :

I would recommend putting a poster up on the recycling bin area with a request for people maximise the use of their bins by flattening their recyclables where possible eg. Cartons, boxes and plastic bottles can all be flattened. Glass jars are a notable exception but unless these are washed completely clean, there is no point putting them in the recycling bins as the recycling centre say they will not use them…Come to think of it, I imagine the Greens would be the best parliamentarians to write to about this.

WifiDeTech makes some good points – however in the ACT they are not worried about the clenliness of the glass or aliminium that goes into the recycling, while preferable they will take it in any condition (other than really gross) as the processes they use cleans this all out anyway. And if you want to write it is to a member of the Assembly – we don’t have a council in Canberra.

WifiDeTech 12:27 am 25 Dec 11

My first suggestion is to see if your strata management will hire extra recycling bins. Failing that, perhaps write to the local council or member of parliament about getting then relevant law adjusted for atypical multiple unit developments like yours. Failing that, this forum may help if there are many others in the same boat as you. If all else fails, I would recommend putting a poster up on the recycling bin area with a request for people maximise the use of their bins by flattening their recyclables where possible eg. Cartons, boxes and plastic bottles can all be flattened. Glass jars are a notable exception but unless these are washed completely clean, there is no point putting them in the recycling bins as the recycling centre say they will not use them…Come to think of it, I imagine the Greens would be the best parliamentarians to write to about this.

Richard Bender 6:27 pm 24 Dec 11

I live in a complex of 50 standalone three bedroom houses. We each have our own individual garbage and recycling bins and don’t pay a cent beyond normal rates.

However, the complex was built before separate recycling bins existed, so perhaps the current code doesn’t apply (we couldn’t magically create a space to put a recycling hopper).

taninaus 5:30 pm 24 Dec 11

Yep we have the same issue broadly – although a little different in practice. Somewhere in the history of the complex the 7 units that face the street got one recycling bin per unit but the 7 of us that are on the interior road have to share 2 bins between us. we too have challenged the antiquated Nowaste policy to no avail and have ended up shelling out for another 2 bins that get emptied fortnightly.

The only way that this will change is that one of the high profile runners in the election takes it up, or the Strata Management group takes it up to achieve a change in policy. Until then there is absolutely no incentive for people in unit complexes (which will be a dominant group with all the units going up) to recycle to the level the ACT Government wants us to in their policy.

bd84 2:03 pm 24 Dec 11

It’s the ridiculous multi unit development code of TAMS http://www.tams.act.gov.au/live/recycling-waste/my_bins/multi_unit which looks like it has never been updated since its creation sometime in the 90s. I have the exact same problem, I live in a development of 30 x 3 bedroom townhouses and we have 10 yellow top bins. If there was 1 more townhouse, we’d be entitled to hoppers, if you have under 10 units you get one bin per residence as you would on any other free standing property. So basically any multi unit development of townhouses between 11 and 30 has a chronic shortage of recycling bins. To get more bins, you have to pay for them when it costs them absolutely nothing, but you’re absolutely can’t have a hopper because the code written in the 90s says its not allowed. But then, because we live in a multi unit complex, the yellow bins need to be picked up from inside the complex and not on the street and cleanaway forget to pick them up every fortnight.

As a result the recycling bins are full within 1 week and overflowing, the stuff people dump goes in the garbage and to landfill. It’s little wonder that we didn’t meet nowaste targets..

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