Going green

Rubbish goes user-pays

I didn’t spot this myself, but apparently Glen Eira is revising its bin charges: 120 litre bin charges are dropping from $138.40 to $120, and 240 litre bins are going up from $151.20 to $240.


I switched to a small bin a couple of years ago when I realised my big bin rarely had more than a fraction of its capacity filled. I think I must have been a tad annoyed to find I was only saving $13 a year. Even now, the 120 litre bin is usually less than 20% full each week.

A huge amount of stuff can now go into the recycling (since 2006 they’ve taken codes 1 to 7). The 240 litre recycling bin only gets emptied every second week, and mine is usually full, or close to it.

I know some big families probably do fill a big bin every week, but really, people do need to be thinking about the waste they generate, particularly the waste that’s headed for landfill. I hope this encourages more people to switch to the smaller bins, and in turn to look carefully at what they can recycle and put into compost.

Besides, why should my meagre landfill requirements cross-subsidise those who chuck heaps of stuff away?

Update: Graphic of council advert added.

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.

11 replies on “Rubbish goes user-pays”

usually your blog makes a useful contribution to society, but this time it’s a load of garbage. OK, a smaller load.

In my mother in law’s village in Germany, the standard for general rubbish is 120L bin picked up every 2nd week. (I’m not sure how that would work in an Australian summer :-)

However, they have an interesting idea. You also get a small number of plastic bags (about 100L capacity). You can use these when you have more rubbish than fits in the 120L bin – for example after a party. Obviously, you can only do this a couple of times a year, so it’s self limiting.

Recyclables were divided into paper (240L, picked up once a month), and others (240L picked up every fortnight). Plastics were virtually everything, including clingwrap and styrofoam. Garden waste was 120L picked up every fortnight, except for about 4 weeks during Autumn when it was picked up every week (while the leaves fell – householders are required to keep the pavement outside their house clean of leaves).

Yes – that is four bins: three 240L, and one 120L.

We don’t have an option for a 240l bin in Hobsons Bay. We all just have the 120l ones and 240s for recycling & green waste (which are collected on alternate weeks). Plenty of large families around here and I don’t hear anyone complaining, and our household of 5 fills our 120l about 3/4 most weeks (fills on party weeks though). We just recycle a lot, reuse a lot, and compost food scraps.

alexio, I guess there’s some economy from having recycling run every fortnight instead of weekly. In Glen Eira recycling alternates with green waste. You have to opt-in to get green waste collected; I haven’t bothered.

Andrew, I don’t think I’d have the space to keep four separate bins.

Your opinion about what amount of rubbish is appropriate is a valid one, but the mistake you make is that you try and impose your opinion onto every single resident in Glen Eira.

How dare you try to support legislation that punishes people and families who need a larger rubbish bin ?

Stop trying to regulate and lobby the council every time you wan’t something changed.

In the Shoalhaven we have a very active composting campaign running run by the local Council. I attended it a few months ago and it was amazing how much rubbish I could “save”. The only reason this is not in practice in my household is because we’re moving early next year. But I look forward to my compost, my cheaper rates and my smaller bins.

What gets me cross though is the push to reduce reuse and recycle not extending to household goods. Working in the repair industry I see a lot of waste. I see a lot of people buying new and shiny to replace old and reliable (and still working), and the new and shiny fails. Wheels falls off a vacuum cleaner? Chuck it. Break your glass plate in your microwave? Chuck it. I’m forever amazed at the amount of perfectly repairable stuff put out at council clean up.

In Moreland an 80 litre bin has a waste charge of $46 and a 120 litre bin has a waste charge of $198. That makes for a major incentive to go to a 80L as I did.

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