Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Is rubbish collections fortnightly a load of rubbish?  Or is there a conversation we have to have?

I copied onto this blog site last week the transcript of an article from Adelaide Now and asked your thoughts on the questions posed in that article. With no response to my questions yet I found while on the road today that I could not listen to talk back radio without criticism of Council decisions to proceed with fortnightly collection of the red bin (blue in the case of the City of Unley).

The conversation today was damming of councils for making such decisions. Indeed it was two waste management authorities making the suggestion, not any Council, with three mayors supporting that we probably should be moving this way. (a future thing).

There is no such decision made that I am aware of at any Council. My understanding is we cant because it is enshrined in legislation. I heard an elected member of one council say they have not discussed it and was unaware it was on their agenda.

Same here. We have not discussed it at Unley and I am unaware that it is on our agenda. Let us be abundantly clear on that.

The debate was very much one sided with the main argument being that there are health issues with leaving food scraps in bins for two weeks. It is smelly and unhealthy was the big cry.

Interestingly only one week ago on talk back radio (not sure if it was the same station or not) the conversation was about a great idea some councils had introduced to put food scraps into a kitchen tidy and to transfer that into the green bin (note- not the red bin). This was applauded by callers and those councils providing the kitchen tidy free congratulated as encouraging responsible waste disposal. Those making a small charge for the tidy (like Unley) criticised for not making it free.


Here we are…Councils applauded for encouraging food scraps into the green bin and then within a week criticised for leaving the food scraps in the red bin for two weeks when in fact they are in the green bin for — TWO weeks.

This is blatantly unfair and I admonish those in the press and the politicians making mileage out of it.

We need a conversation about waste disposal but it needs to be an informed one, and not one focused on the timing of collections. A conversation not unlike the one in the transcript rather than what happened today with political grandstanding.

Questions like the following need to be asked :

should we be putting food scraps into the green bin as we are now being encouraged to do,
should this bin be collected weekly and the red one fortnightly,
should nappies go in the bin or should we be using recyclable nappies like a number of councils (including us) proposed not that far back.
are we ready for this,
if not when are we likely to be (aren’t we heading that way now).

In signing off let me remind everyone that councils will not be doing this without consulting their ratepayers first.