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Garbage day not every week

I have a big general rubbish bin, a paper recycling bin and a bottle recycling bin. They all get collected weekly, but I don’t put them out every week. I only put them out if they’re more than half full or have something smelly in them. Otherwise, why bother? Just wastes my time and the garbage truck driver’s. So typically each of them goes out every fortnight.

Glen Eira mayorI figure if everyone did that, the portion of the rates for garbage collection might drop by, what… maybe a third?

Speaking of council services, you know you’re getting old when you glance at the new mayor in the local council newsletter and you think he looks so young he should still be in school.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Garbage day not every week”

Except that the trucks have to travel the route anyway and the key cost in waste collection is the tipping fees of teh trash into the landfill – which is volume driven anyway. So to reduce trash collection costs – don’t create as much trash.

I agree with you Daniel. I generally would only put out my bin if it was full or I knew that it would be overflowing before the next collection (e.g. if I was having a big spring clean and wanted an empty bin to start with). My recycling bin only gets collected fortnightly and I wish it was weekly sometimes as I tend to have more in the recycling bin than the rubbish but then again I should be ringing my council and asking for a bigger recycling bin which I’ve been too slack to do so far.

Re the mayor: are you sure he’s *not* still in school?

Re garbage: nice theory, but as Glenn points out, reducing collection costs won’t make any difference to overall rates. Also, you’re assuming that most people generate about the same amount of trash as yourself. My guess is you’re actually at the low end of the trash production bell curve. So most people are probably *already* putting their bins out as often as they need to – ie. every week.

Like Glenn says: the real solution (and problem) is to get people to generate less trash, which means getting them to *consume* less trash, which is difficult when you’ve got a lot of businesses whose sole purpose is to force increasingly large amounts of trash down consumers’ throats.

You people are lucky to have the oppurtunity to recycle. We have 1 bin only. And it doesn’t matter if it is half full or not mine goes out as I hate the maggots that live in there!

Sure the truck has to do the rounds, but it saves… what, ten seconds per bin not emptied? (Actually it’s three trucks in my area, one for each bin). If only half the people put their bins out every week, that might save…. ooh… I dunno… 10 minutes? Maybe it’s not enough to worth bothering about.

Yes, the amount of rubbish produced needs to drop. Hopefully the move to smaller bins is helping that along… mine is old, and twice as big as the ones they issue now.

Yep, the mayor (Feldman, formerly of Ratepayers Against Glen Eira or similar) is young – mid 20s?

And did you see the thing in the local rag saying that he handed back the keys to the mayoral car?

We have a recycling bin and a garbage bin. (the recycling bin is a fair bit bigger).

Our garbage is full every week so we put it out each week, and the recycling is collected every second week and is generally full by then too! So we seem to have a lot of rubbish, but we certantly recycle tonnes too.

A while back there were plans for many councils to include unique identifiers on all bins, thus the truck would be able to record which bins were out and how much weight was in it when it got emptied. As a result, you would receive a discount on your rates.

This doesn’t work so well for us still in the renting market (Do you know of a landlord that would pass the savings on?).

Additionally, there were public health concerns related to people not putting their bins out when they really NEED to – or more likely find ‘alternative’ garbage disposal systems (dumping in parks, neighbours bins, etc).

And then the conspiracy crowd were getting paranoid about the government monitoring their rubbish usage…

As usual, it is up to us to change the world one bin at a time – keep up the good work :)

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