02 March 2013

Waste Collection

I read an interesting article in today's paper. How often should the rubbish be collected?

This is a matter on which I have had many discussions with residents, often suggested as a cost cutting exercise,eg half as many pick ups should cost half as much. Seems like a logical argument other than that the City of Unley has a fixed price contract with EastWaste and dumping fees are paid by the tonne.

Will you have less rubbish if it is collected half as often? My  bin is rarely even half full these days for any of the services and yet I can remember having 2 big bins full to the brim when the children were small. If we had a bit of a yard cleanup we filled the neighbours bins as well. I'm sure big families still fill their bins but most of us have changed our practices and now produce less waste than we used to; we reuse and recycle far more and far better, we have compost bins or put our carefully collected food waste in the green bin.

It is legislated in the metropolitan area that the general waste bin be collected weekly, trials in 2009 did not support collection less often over concerns about the smell of rotting food in bins. And there is the sort of problem that Matt Abraham wrote about in the week's Eastern Courier!
What do you think? Is there a case to reduce the frequency of collection?


  1. I have no problem with collection frequency but think it's a shame that it's not more flexible. I'd rather have a set of coupons which entitled me to a certain number of collections per year so, for example, I could put out my green bin on consecutive weeks at that time of the year when I'm pruning, etc and just can't get the amount of stuff taken away during the period when I'm generating it. I'd happily swap a waste product coupon with the young family that seems to generate a lot of cardboard waste. I'm sure that this idea wouldn't get to first post with the collectors though. Better to be stick to a service that's easy to deliver than one that meets the user's needs if those are harder to manage.

  2. Some interesting follow up on this in Letters to the Editor. This is not a topic that Unley has discussed as a council other than in discussion about waste minimization. One comment about the smell was interesting, less frequent service will only be achieved when the majority of people cease using the blue bin for food scraps and it is illegal to put human waste in a rubbish bin (and hence to trials for cloth nappies). Disposable nappies as they are called are one of the least disposable items ever created.