Big bin’s no rubbish idea

IN a bid to reduce garbage being sent to landfill Vincent council is considering offering bigger recycling bins to residents who accept a smaller rubbish bin.

Mayor John Carey says a $20,000 trial will start in November.  “There’s no extra cost. What we’re trying to do is offer it as an environmental incentive; if you’re interested, swap your big bin for a smaller bin and we’ll give you a bigger recycling bin,” Mr Carey said.

“The best outcome is reducing waste to the bin. It’s the classic mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle.”

That means avoiding overpackaged stuff like bananas on a styrofoam package wrapped in plastic, reusing what you can (as compost, or any of the zillion oddball arts and craft ideas on Pinterest), then sending whatever’s left to the recycling bin.

• THERE’S free mulch for all at Britannia Reserve at the corner of Britannia Road and Federation Street in Mt Hawthorn, the remains of trees cut down around Vincent.  Mayor John Carey, pictured with the council’s parks manager Jeremy van den Bok and councillor Emma Cole modelling the council’s new big recycling bins, says no one likes to see a tree go, but when it does it’ll at least get a Lion King-style “circle of life” send-off and they’ll continue to pile the mulch at the corner for anyone to take it any time. “Rather than sending trees off to go to green waste, off to Mindarie Regional Council, we can reuse it for another great benefit with our adopt a verge program [which sets up locals with free native plants and mulch for their verge] and a free mulch station. Any resident can go there, if there’s mulch they can take it, and it’s good for a waterwise garden.”

• THERE’S free mulch for all at Britannia Reserve at the corner of Britannia Road and Federation Street in Mt Hawthorn, the remains of trees cut down around Vincent.  Mayor John Carey, pictured with the council’s parks manager Jeremy van den Bok and councillor Emma Cole modelling the council’s new big recycling bins, says no one likes to see a tree go, but when it does it’ll at least get a Lion King-style “circle of life” send-off and they’ll continue to pile the mulch at the corner for anyone to take it any time. “Rather than sending trees off to go to green waste, off to Mindarie Regional Council, we can reuse it for another great benefit with our adopt a verge program [which sets up locals with free native plants and mulch for their verge] and a free mulch station. Any resident can go there, if there’s mulch they can take it, and it’s good for a waterwise garden.”

He says Vincent’s waste system is “antiquated” but says reform was delayed by the Barnett government’s failed merger process, since there was little point investing in new systems if the council was to be trash-compacted into Perth.

“Now with our new CEO we’re doing a total review,” Mr Carey says.

Perth MP Eleni Evangel this week called on Vincent to institute a three bin system (garbage, recycling, greens).

She says research released last week shows “the state government’s three bin system increases and simplifies recycling and green waste capacity”. The research from the pilot program (which included Bayswater and Stirling) showed 42 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill in councils with the three-bin system, while only 22 per cent from two-binners.

Mr Carey’s not keen on trying to fit three bins into inner-city Vincent.

“The city considered a three-bin system,” he told the Voice, “and it’s a really simplistic policy to say three bins are the answer.

“First, we’re an inner city community with higher density; it’s impractical to have three bins.” He says many apartment blocks couldn’t fit the extra bins.

He says separating garden waste isn’t as green as it looks and it’s best to set up a compost pile at home.

It’s adding carbon miles for the trip, plus “the mulch that is produced is not of a high quality, unfortunately … it can only be used for limited purposes”.

“People are putting glass, they’re putting other things in there, it’s contaminated mulch so it can’t be packaged up and sold,” Mr Carey said.

“There are environmental costs of getting it out, turning it into mulch, and sending it on. The better way is reducing and reusing the waste in the first place,” he says.

by DAVID BELL

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