Providing Local Leadership: Waste Not Want Not in a Throw Away Society

Do you remember when your Grandma used to say “Ducky, waste not want not”. Those who lived through the great depression learnt that great lesson to waste not want not.

 

Waste Not Want Not

Waste Not Want Not

We live today in an affluent society. A throwaway society and have had for 40 or more years. Before that time, during the war years and the great depression that separated them, we salvaged all we could as part of that waste not want not paradigm.

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Remember too the Dustin Hoffman movie “The Graduate” when the student Benjamin Braddock was mentored by the wise old man Mr. McGuire that “plastics are the future”. How accurate was that prediction that plastics would be the future.

With plastics has come a waste challenge however unlike anything that anyone would have imagined.

This is one of the biggest challenges facing modern communities. We all know the gravity of the problem. We all need to be part of the solution.

The lead in addressing waste must come from the State Government. Our current State Government will hopefully expand on the successes of past state governments, going back to the days of putting a deposit on drink containers.

Councils can provide local leadership.

They can lobby the State Government, particularly with the China ban on taking our yellow bin waste.

Councils can lead by example by reducing what we contribute to the proliferation of plastic waste. We can, as we have just decided, not provide plastics straws at events we run. Likewise we can investigate providing filtered water in all our facilities in lieu of bottled water, and other like strategies.

The Community can play a part too.

You can have a waste not want not paradigm by be being more discerning with how you dispose of your rubbish, on what goods you buy that may be a single use product. You can also participate in determining issues that your local leadership can pursue.

The other way you can help is by electing candidates that can provide the local leadership for the City of Unley to be, in turn, a leader in the local government industry when it comes to waste disposal.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Waste collection- Fortnightly or Weekly

It seems every year the fortnightly or weekly bin debate recurs. This has been the storey dominating the media cycle today. So frequently what we continue to hear is it is all about cost saving.

Council waste binsI have entered this debate frequently in the past. Each time I have advocated that the question should not be about reducing the blue bin but about increasing the frequency of the green bin collection.

Our food stuff, the smelly stuff, the stuff that attracts ants should go in the green bin. We should therefore be talking about this bin being collected weekly. Conversely the blue bin, which goes to landfill, should be fortnightly.

In other words this should not be a debate focused on fortnightly or weekly. It should be about green verses blue.

An opinion incidentally I expressed today to Channel 9 when interviewed by chance in my own street.

We believe however and are being told the blue bin contains the smelly, ant attracting rubbish. This means that we as a society are not interested in getting biodegradable rubbish away from landfill.

It’s important to note, in spite of what you may be hearing, is that the LGA does not yet have an endorsed position on waste collection frequency. Until its member councils are consulted, the LGA cannot hold a position. This has not yet happened. All it is doing is trying to start the conversation.

The State Government must take the lead as the frequency of collections is set in their legislation. Any position that the LGA (on behalf of councils) might take, they (we) can only lobby the State Government to consider changing the collection.

Based on comments however made by both the Government and the Opposition today, it appears unlikely that there is support in Parliament for changes to the current system. This means they are not interested in taking the lead in better waste disposal.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

I Invite You to Take the Pledge and Win

The City of Unley has a program I invite you to participate in. It is called “take the pledge and win”.

The take the pledge and win campaign is a strategy we have undertaken to reduce the amount of organic and recyclable waste going into landfill. By entering you can win both ways….we can both win.

I had the pleasure yesterday to tour many recycling facilities courtesy of a joint venture between Council and KESAB. An Unley Community bus with about 15 ratepayers aboard toured the following establishments:

  •  Electronic Recycling Australia, Underdale (electronics recyclers).
  • VISY (yellow-lidded recycling bins).
  • Adelaide Resource Recovery (demolition recyclers).
  • Jeffries, Wingfield (transfer station for green-lidded organics bins).
  • IWS ( blue-lidded bins).

For me the tour was truly informative and appreciated. The ratepayers who took the tour were also appreciative. They asked many reasoned questions at each establishment, and of our KESAB host Wendy Sutton while in transit. Seeing the facilities in action gave us all an appreciation of the efforts being made by our waste industry to avoid the costly disposal into landfill.

Waste disposal is truly a science now. Consequently the industry has come a long way at reducing the impact of waste on our environment. Councils, including Unley, have been conscious of taking advantage of this. As a result contracts let for waste disposal have to meet exacting environmental targets.

You can participate too. Indeed we ask you to participate so that you and I can both win. So our future generations can win.

This is where our “take the Pledge” program comes in. To ensure we all do win we are, in partnership with Mitre 10 Barrow & Bench, we are offering a way you can win twice. Once you make the pledge you will go into a draw to win one of 10 $25.00 gift cards.

For details visit: https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/waste-recycling/reducing-waste#hash-slide-take-the-pledge-233 and make your pledge today.