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Cleaning up our houses, cleaning up our yards

By Splodge - 17 October 2009 18

I’m sure many of you have lived outside this Territory and resided somewhere in Australia that has quarterly verge general and green waste collections.  Why then do we not have this service in Canberra?

This issue has caused me and my partner endless frustration, living in a rental on a meagre student wage with no way of disposing the years of student build up.  There are many reasons why people run into this problem, and I think that something can be done about it.

About 6 months ago I came up with a hair brained idea to set up a business catering for this need, as well as offering other services in high demand and low supply (garden maintenance anyone?)

Basically what do people think of this?  Any suggestions for how to offer the service (price/advertising/quality/time/government support)?  I have a web of plans but would like to hear from the community before influencing the thoughts out there.

As an environmental science student, my direction would be quality recycling, re-useing through compost, 2nd hand selling of unwanted materials etc.

: )

What’s Your opinion?

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18 Responses to
Cleaning up our houses, cleaning up our yards
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 12:45 pm 29 Oct 09

Ezyscrap will pick up your old washing machine for free, you environmental vandal.

schmeah 12:11 pm 29 Oct 09

I’m not quite sure what the problem is here?

If you have stuff that you want to get rid of; do a garage sale, sell it at uni, put it on the trading post – you’re a student, think $$$.

If it’s old crap and you think no one will buy it (or even pick it up for free), take it to the dump (it costs you $10). I’m all for recycling as well and landfill is bad.. but come on, if your washing machine is 20 years old chances are it’s consuming more energy than is environmentally friendly and wouldn’t cut it in the recycling material stakes. So, lance the boil, take it to the dump and be done with it.

Sure start up a a business, but it seems like the premise of your business would be to make everyone elses disposing problems, your problems?

H1NG0 1:21 pm 19 Oct 09

Slodge, I totally agree with you and as a former NSW resident, clean up days were fantastic. Not only because you can get rid of your unwanted crap, but most of it is collected by “treasure hunters” before the council even got a chance to pick it up. For students, its a great opportunity to get some office furniture.

Unfortunately ACT Government doesn’t see it that way and are very tight when it comes to rubbish disposal. They consider it to be “green” to provide no such service. They will happily take your money if you lug your general waste yourself to your choice of a whole 2 locations!!

Everywhere I lived previously also accepted green waste in the weekly garbage disposal. In ACT they won’t accept any sort of green waste in the general collection. My compost heap can only take so much.

They wonder why people are dumping rubbish in private skips and in vacant lots of land but do absolutely nothing to help prevent it. Its about time the ACT Government stopped pretending to be green and were brought in line with other states.

TP 3000 12:11 pm 19 Oct 09

s-s-a said :

– These days kerbside recycling accounts for plenty of stuff – I once put so many magazines in our yellow wheelie bin that I could barely drag it up the gentle slope to the street!

I did that, then one of my twat neighbours reversed into the bin, knocked it over & left it like that.

Another place to get rid of alot of paper/plastic/glass is those Recycling places that are in most town centers. Recently I’ve taken around 4 car boot loads of old magazines, some old guy then went through the magazines I chucked into the cage.

Ceej1973 9:44 am 19 Oct 09

busgirl said :

Getting rid of green waste at Mugga Lane is free.

Things that aren’t quite good enough to give the Salvos or Vinnies go to Revolve. If you have stuff that you want money for then I’m afraid you will have to sell it yourself…

Don’t bother with Revolve, they are uber picky. Had a chest of bedroom drawers with very minor chipping. They said people wont bother if they see that. Also a very compfy lounge that was faded. We thought they would surely take it, as it had no wrips of broken cushion zips (we learnt this from last time). Nope, people don’t like faded lounges now. Also had a gym set with bench press. Granted, it was missing 1 cable that lifts the weights, nup people wont take that. Wow, how hard it must be for people to buy a cable, get a lounge cover, or put the draw with tiny chips on the bottom of the chest where it wont be seen. I made a passing comment to the Revolve chick about the purpose of her business, if everyone is so rich in Canberra that they can all afford to buy new goods. Oh well, so much for Nohopes “No Waste” by whatever dreamt up year it was meant to be. It went straight to the dump, throat with lump.

georgesgenitals 8:15 pm 18 Oct 09

busgirl said :

Getting rid of green waste at Mugga Lane is free.

Things that aren’t quite good enough to give the Salvos or Vinnies go to Revolve. If you have stuff that you want money for then I’m afraid you will have to sell it yourself…

Most of the time I took stuff to Revolve, they wouldn’t take it (“we have too many half used couches”, etc”). And what they did take they charged too much for.

Which is one the reasons that they suck.

I-filed 6:09 pm 18 Oct 09

Splodge I think NSW councils are stopping the kerbside collections. East Sydney doesn’t have one any more. I wish you well with your venture but do keep the situation here in Canberra in mind. Its’ NOTHING like Sydney or Melbourne. Pretty much everyone has a car, or can hire a ute from the MacGregor BP servo for about $45, and the tip isn’t 40 to 100 km away, like in Sydney, but 10 minutes drive. It simply isn’t a hassle for most Canberrans. Sorry, but I suspect your research will tell you it isn’t a goer.

enrique 1:57 pm 18 Oct 09

Just do what my housemates and I used to do whenever we moved out of a group house…

1) Pick a street corner that gets a decent amount of traffic

2) Put everything on said street corner in prominent view of traffic

3) Put up a massive sign that says “FREE”

4) Grab a few beers and watch the underground looting patrol move in – you’ll be amazed at how fast you shift everything

5) When it appears you have a few items leftover that nobody wants, replace the free sign with a new version that says $5 or something like that… as soon as people see there is a value to the leftover crap, they’ll again come knocking and try to bargain you down to take it off your hands – they’ll feel like they’ve got a deal from you, you’ll be happy you’ve paid for some of the beers you bought earlier… win-win situation =)

I’ve seen this in action a few times, it works. I even had one guy come up to me once and ask if we had anything else in the house he could have. By that time all the valuables were in boxes at the new premises so I brought him in and let him take his pick. He turned up later with a car and a mate and helped me get rid of even more cr^p (and shared a beer with me and my housemates). Now if only I could have figured out some sort of deal where he helped with the clean-up for final inspection.

Ahhh, filthy group houses… good times

el 11:03 am 18 Oct 09

On a student income?

– Drive to large unit complex.

– Locate large rubbish skips.

– Empty out car and drive home.

– Beer. 11:28 pm 17 Oct 09

No no no, you have it all wrong. You’re a uni student on a meagre income. You’re supposed to gather all your uni student collection, put it on a tray of some sort, add quantaties of super glue and paint then sell it as art for a tidy profit over and above your student fees for the year. Don’t they still teach you that in first year?

I agree with s-s-a’s scheme. Freecycle the big stuff, recycle the recyclables and distribute the rest equally amoung the neighbours. Or, hire a mini skip / trash pack. Or get your mates together and hold a garage sale / cart the stuff Mugga Lane.

sepi 10:35 pm 17 Oct 09

That is a business idea -= Trash packs for garden waste where the garden waste is recycled! I tried to find one too.

On the original idea – I think the govt promised to bring in hard rubbish collection at the election – so look into that before outlaying any money.

s-s-a 9:41 pm 17 Oct 09

I too missed council cleanup when I moved to Canberra (20y ago now) but have so far found alternative and free means of disposing of most things…

– Green waste can be dropped off at Mugga Lane free of charge with the exception of a couple of species and really thick branches.
– These days kerbside recycling accounts for plenty of stuff – I once put so many magazines in our yellow wheelie bin that I could barely drag it up the gentle slope to the street!
– Surplus kerbside recycling items (eg massive cleanout of old uni notes) can be… ahem… distributed up and down the street in the wee hours on the morning before pickup.
– Anything vaguely reusable that fits into a wheelie bin gets dropped at my local Salvos.
– Anything vaguely reusable but bigger than that gets put on Freecycle and is generally collected within days.
– If you have something small scale to sell, use the freebies on Allclassifieds or cheapo Tuesday classifieds in the Canberra Times (free ad up to three lines for items up to $100, you can place up to three ads per week).

Personally, I can’t see a market for paying someone to do a service like this, though it may exist.

In the last few years I have relented and got a trash pack that is emptied monthly if required, mainly due to time constraints involved in taking a weekend worth of garden stuff to Mugga Lane and our old neighbours who used to let me empty my catcher into his trailer and would dump it for me.

I tried and tried to get a trash pack that would go to green waste recycling, but no such thing existed. So I pay to get rid of green waste that would usually fit in my garbage bin but I’m not allowed to put it there, yet it still ends up in the same place. Grrr!

busgirl 9:07 pm 17 Oct 09

Getting rid of green waste at Mugga Lane is free.

Things that aren’t quite good enough to give the Salvos or Vinnies go to Revolve. If you have stuff that you want money for then I’m afraid you will have to sell it yourself…

Felix the Cat 5:45 pm 17 Oct 09

I believe green waste is accepted at the local Mugga Lane tip and also a place in Vicars St Mitchell (can’t recall the name of it) for a nominal sum.

Why not load the unwanted stuff in your car – I’m presuming you have a vehicle as you are proposing to start a business removing such stuff – and take it to the tip/charity/R Shop yourself? Some charities collect items. Advertise your stuff for sale for free in the Tuesday Canberra Times or on or swap shop on radio 2CC on Saturday morning. Get a skip bin and go halves or thirds or whatever with a couple of neighbours. Plenty of ways to dispose of stuff if you really want to.

moneypenny2612 3:39 pm 17 Oct 09

I hear you! The lack of a kerbside collection service for unwanted goods or green waste is one of the notable absences from life in Canberra.

And, for such a transient population, it has never ceased to amaze me how few second traders there are for a city this size. Where on earth does everybody’s stuff go when they move? from what i can see, a lot of people try & cram all sorts of shit into or beneath the salvos and vinnies collection bins…

You may find some useful information on starting a business in Canberra here (the Govt’s entry point) – The portal includes info about finding investors if that’s an issue for you.

You will probably need a few licences for the premises and equipment you use, and certainly if you sell goods to the public. Tax registration is something else.

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