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Green bins – so much rubbish!

By John Hargreaves - 6 June 2016 27

greenbins

There has been a bit of chatter around lately about a third bin. Usual stuff. NSW has them, why not us? It is good for the environment for people to put their green waste out for collection.

The proponents say that old pensioners can’t get to the green waste area of the tip because they have no trailer and often no car. They say what about the apartment dwellers?

And so a vocal minority have pressured the current ACT Government to introduce voluntary third bins. What a load of rubbish!

So here’s a bit of history.

In the October 2012 ACT election campaign, the Libs promised the third bin for Canberrans. The Government resisted it then and should have resisted it now. Populist tripe and unnecessary.

There was a bio-bin trial in the suburb of Chifley in 2002 with the introduction of a third bin for people in multi-unit properties to gauge how a community would respond to the opportunity of selecting the types of waste they dispose of and share in the excitement of recycling.

The glass and paper bins had already been introduced and they were going OK. The ordinary waste bins were doing well as usual and the multi-unit properties were chosen because they were possibly the most problematic of dwelling types for waste disposal. Good thinking 99! Let’s see how an ordinary suburb goes with the concept and let’s see if there is a shrill demand for more bins and for ordinary household.

Well this trial concluded that bio bins, with all the education attached to their introduction, did not work.

The principal problem was that the waste contained in bio bins was contaminated to such extent that the collections could not be disposed of in any other way than land fill. Disposable nappies, plastics, metals were all found in the bins prior to disposal. People actually did not embrace the concept.

I know that now the option is voluntary and that a $50 deposit is charged (with nothing for the pensioners) but there is no increase in the rates. This means that my household which does separate our domestic waste and use a commercial waste collector for our other waste will be paying for those who opt in. Admittedly, we sometimes put other things in the external packs but we also have a mulcher for our tree and hedge clippings to be turned into mulch for the garden.

Yeah, well there are loads of people in Canberra who already have a “third” bin and have had such for years.

Toms Trash Paks

It is called Tom’s Trash Paks. I have one outside my place next to my bins and I know heaps of people who use this service to dispose of their green waste from gardening. As an aside to those greenies out there about household green waste, how about just composting the stuff?

This new service is likely to put Tom’s Trash Paks out of business because a large amount of their business is the removal to landscape supplies outlet and green waste recycling centre Corkhills of green waste after a gardening binge by people without trailers and without the strength to lift heavy loads.

This service has a charge to pick up which is very reasonable and a small $3.30 charge to you if you don’t require the removal and replacement of the pack. Not that much of an impost! And they provide one-off collections as well, so an annual clean-up is catered for.

When green waste is taken to Corkhills, you pay nothing to drop off but you do pay to get your own stuff back after it has been processed into garden soils etc. But there is another facet of green waste that folks don’t know about or dismiss.

When domestic waste goes into landfill, the greenies say the sky is going to fall in. well it doesn’t. In fact it can be a good thing in that the organic waste such a domestic green waste, whether it is gardening waste or food scraps, bio degrade in the ground and produce methane. There is methane collection at the Mugga tip.

This collection of methane is input into the electricity generators at the bottom of the hill, separated from the water in which it comes (the water sprayed around locally to encourage rehabilitation of the tip), the methane burnt to produce steam which drives the turbines and produces enough power into the grid to drive about 4000 homes with no pollutants.

Now this input to the tip will of course continue but at a cost that we don’t bear at the moment. What part of the promise that your rates won’t increase do you believe?

The voluntary nature of this service will mean that in many streets in Canberra, the pickup will be uneconomic and so a contract for such service will not be on a per bin basis but an hourly rate. It’s going to be costly. And … multi-unit properties use skips not standard collection bins.

I won’t be opting in for this service, I’ll be continuing with my excellent service from Toms Trash Paks and I’ll be waiting to see whether I am paying for other peoples’ services through my rates.

Just a few things to get them off my chest (and into the appropriate bin). Oh… and here’s the best use of the third bin as demonstrated by Bill Stefaniak and Tony De Domenico in 1992.

bill and tony

 

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27 Responses to
Green bins – so much rubbish!
Maya123 1:53 pm 07 Jun 16

chiflean said :

As a renter in places with small gardens, a green bin would be useful. Generally speaking most renters do enough gardening to pass rental inspections/ keep the garden in condition only reduce work for inspections. (we have often got pulled up on having piles of pulled weeds in the yard during inspections)
Some weeds, leaf litter and trimmings – never enough for a trash pack or a trailer to the tip.
I’d probably be a bit more ambitious in the garden if I had somewhere to put the green rubbish (instead of throwing it further into the garden/bushes)

Personally I think even in older homes with young families it might encourage smaller jobs of continuous maintenance of the yards where they fill up the bin and stop and do the next bit next time.
All the keen gardeners I know in places with green bins still have the commercial trash packs too because the green bin isn’t enough to handle the waste.

“I’d probably be a bit more ambitious in the garden if I had somewhere to put the green rubbish (instead of throwing it further into the garden/bushes)”

That a compost bin.

pink little birdie 11:16 am 07 Jun 16

As a renter in places with small gardens, a green bin would be useful. Generally speaking most renters do enough gardening to pass rental inspections/ keep the garden in condition only reduce work for inspections. (we have often got pulled up on having piles of pulled weeds in the yard during inspections)
Some weeds, leaf litter and trimmings – never enough for a trash pack or a trailer to the tip.
I’d probably be a bit more ambitious in the garden if I had somewhere to put the green rubbish (instead of throwing it further into the garden/bushes)

Personally I think even in older homes with young families it might encourage smaller jobs of continuous maintenance of the yards where they fill up the bin and stop and do the next bit next time.
All the keen gardeners I know in places with green bins still have the commercial trash packs too because the green bin isn’t enough to handle the waste.

Nilrem 5:41 am 07 Jun 16

Felix the Cat said :

Meconium said :

Totally support the idea of green waste bins though it seems pointless if you can’t put kitchen scraps in too . . .

Ha ha so looking forward to ACT Government attempting to take on householders about whether that lettuce/cabbage/kohlrabi/kale they put in the bin was from the garden or bought produce! A whole new ACT Public Service employment opportunity – Green Waste Fraud Inspectorate!

It would be as successful as current efforts to prevent garden waste going into the red bin. Futile.

Maya123 10:19 pm 06 Jun 16

Mordd – IndyMedia said :

rommeldog56 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

No_Nose said :

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

You have that wrong, as it’s more likely it will be house owners who will subsidise people who live in apartments. Many people who live in houses already dispose of their green waste (kitchen scraps and the like) by composting and returning the compost to the soil. I didn’t include townhouses with apartments there as in theory many of the people who live in them could compost their kitchen scraps too, although that might vary from townhouse to townhouse. As for larger piles of prunings and the like, they are not likely to fit in a bin, so however they are disposed of now (trash-packs, a trip to the tip, etc) will continue as it is now.
I don’t see why we need green bins, except for apartment dwellers and perhaps the aged and handicapped.

The bins won’t allow kitchen scraps/composting material so I dont know exactly what you think apartment dwellers would be utilising them for.

This is clearly meant to be a vote buying excercise for people who live on larger blocks with garden waste.

The council supplied bins my relatives use in Sydney are for kitchen scraps. Of course any bin that is supplied for green waste can take kitchen scraps.

Okay I did a bit of reading and I see that kitchen scraps are not allowed in it. I don’t know how they will be kept out of them though. And good luck with fitting in autumn leaves. In my street they send a tip truck, a bop cat and two people to take away the leaves, with at least two visits. I have attempted to spread my leaves as mulch, but they blow away…probably to the unfortunate people across the road. I don’t have lawn, but lawn clippings too can be composted, and some people do this. About the only garden product that can’t be composted (easily) are sticks and diseased plants.
Now I have found out more about this, why is this being brought in? What’s wrong with paying for you own green waste removal, as is done now. I feel really sorry for people who make their living from this.

Maya123 10:07 pm 06 Jun 16

rommeldog56 said :

Holden Caulfield said :

No_Nose said :

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

You have that wrong, as it’s more likely it will be house owners who will subsidise people who live in apartments. Many people who live in houses already dispose of their green waste (kitchen scraps and the like) by composting and returning the compost to the soil. I didn’t include townhouses with apartments there as in theory many of the people who live in them could compost their kitchen scraps too, although that might vary from townhouse to townhouse. As for larger piles of prunings and the like, they are not likely to fit in a bin, so however they are disposed of now (trash-packs, a trip to the tip, etc) will continue as it is now.
I don’t see why we need green bins, except for apartment dwellers and perhaps the aged and handicapped.

The bins won’t allow kitchen scraps/composting material so I dont know exactly what you think apartment dwellers would be utilising them for.

This is clearly meant to be a vote buying excercise for people who live on larger blocks with garden waste.

The council-supplied bins my relatives use in Sydney are for kitchen scraps. Of course any bin that is supplied for green waste can take kitchen scraps.

Masquara 8:47 pm 06 Jun 16

Meconium said :

Totally support the idea of green waste bins though it seems pointless if you can’t put kitchen scraps in too . . .

Ha ha so looking forward to ACT Government attempting to take on householders about whether that lettuce/cabbage/kohlrabi/kale they put in the bin was from the garden or bought produce! A whole new ACT Public Service employment opportunity – Green Waste Fraud Inspectorate!

Mordd 8:36 pm 06 Jun 16

John, you just lost the last of the respect I still had for you with this ridiculous op-ed. To be honest I am now glad you’re not infecting ACT Labor with your hysteria anymore.

miz 8:21 pm 06 Jun 16

Totally support the idea of green waste bins though it seems pointless if you can’t put kitchen scraps in too . . .

chewy14 6:48 pm 06 Jun 16

Holden Caulfield said :

No_Nose said :

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

You have that wrong, as it’s more likely it will be house owners who will subsidise people who live in apartments. Many people who live in houses already dispose of their green waste (kitchen scraps and the like) by composting and returning the compost to the soil. I didn’t include townhouses with apartments there as in theory many of the people who live in them could compost their kitchen scraps too, although that might vary from townhouse to townhouse. As for larger piles of prunings and the like, they are not likely to fit in a bin, so however they are disposed of now (trash-packs, a trip to the tip, etc) will continue as it is now.
I don’t see why we need green bins, except for apartment dwellers and perhaps the aged and handicapped.

The bins won’t allow kitchen scraps/composting material so I dont know exactly what you think apartment dwellers would be utilising them for.

This is clearly meant to be a vote buying excercise for people who live on larger blocks with garden waste.

Lurker2913 6:18 pm 06 Jun 16

How green is the service when it is collected in a diesel powered truck?

Also new residential blocks are so small there is no garden. I think the existing system of private contractors works well for those who need it.

SunRider you argument also works for the light rail.

Maya123 5:27 pm 06 Jun 16

No_Nose said :

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

You have that wrong, as it’s more likely it will be house owners who will subsidise people who live in apartments. Many people who live in houses already dispose of their green waste (kitchen scraps and the like) by composting and returning the compost to the soil. I didn’t include townhouses with apartments there as in theory many of the people who live in them could compost their kitchen scraps too, although that might vary from townhouse to townhouse. As for larger piles of prunings and the like, they are not likely to fit in a bin, so however they are disposed of now (trash-packs, a trip to the tip, etc) will continue as it is now.
I don’t see why we need green bins, except for apartment dwellers and perhaps the aged and handicapped.

Acton 3:46 pm 06 Jun 16

No_Nose said :

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

1) Cross subsidisation exists in all communities across all times. People who live in urban areas support people who live in rural areas, middle aged workers support the non-working elderly and young, the childless support schools etc etc. No problem there.

2) This is true, but won’t happen. If the government does provide this service that will put private providers (like Tom’s Trash Packs) out of business. However it won’t happen because you are not accounting for the arrogance, dishonesty and hypocrisy of the mob now in control of the local council. A green waste collection announcement is only ever intended to get extra votes from a populace overburdened by rate increases and anxious to make any form of savings. Once the formality of the election is over and the voters have dutifully returned the Labour/Green alliance the ‘trial’ of green waste collection will be found to be unnecessary and unfair, (as you point out), but probably after an overseas study tour to check out collection systems in Sweden, Canada and the south of France. It will then be withdrawn.

devils_advocate 12:22 pm 06 Jun 16

1) forcing one part of the community (apartment and townhouse dwellers) to subsidise another part of the community (detached home/large block dwellers) is inefficient and unfair. It’s also regressive because the persons likely to benefit are typically wealthier people living on larger blocks with bigger gardens. It’s unfair in relation to green bins, its unfair in relation to the monorail.
2) This action by the government will crowd out private service providers. It’s therefore unnecessary and unfair.

chewy14 8:59 am 06 Jun 16

A former Labor minister complaining about having to fund an uneconomic service that will only be used by a minority of the population?

LOL.

SunRider 8:41 am 06 Jun 16

I hardly think the point you raise in relation to paying for other people’s service through your rates is reasonable, given the pilot program is to be conducted in Weston and Kambah, and if successful, should eventually be broadened to include all of Canberra. By contrast, there are many suburbs including Weston and Kambah, who will not benefit from light rail, yet those ratepayers will pay for that service. Boy will they pay! Can we all agree that sometimes we pay for things of no direct benefit to ourselves, because we all gain by living in a a society with a better standard of services?

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