Proper waste disposal is one of the key ingredients of a progressive nation. Unfortunately, there are still many residents in Australia with damaged and awful-smelling bins. In 2015, it was announced that homeowners could get fined for the following offences:
- Improper bin maintenance, including keeping it clean ($250)
- Incorrect items placed in the bins ($350)
- Putting offensive-smelling items in the bin ($350)
- Damaged bin ($400)
With many complaints about waste and bin usage in different neighbourhoods in Western Australia, it seemed that residents were happy with the proposal.
As a responsible citizen, it is necessary to be in line with the goals of the local government. Taking simple steps to clean and maintain your bin can significantly contribute to these initiatives.
The local councils make it easy for the residents to get rid of their waste through scheduled bin collections. General rubbish is typically collected each week while those in the recycling bin are gathered every two weeks. All collections take place per schedule except during Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Good Friday.
Most types of general rubbish are supported except for the following:
- Hot ashes
- Building materials
- Hazardous waste, such as motor oil, petrol, paints, and flammables
- Tyres and other car parts
The items that you can and cannot put in the bins that your city issued will depend on the regulations of the city itself. However, they mostly comprise of the mentioned waste above.
As for recycling bins, you can place the following:
- Aluminium cans
- Cardboard boxes
- Plastic bottles without lids
- Steel cans
Remember: never put plastic bags in the bins.
Aside from the contents of the bins, you should also determine where to properly place them:
- The bins should be on the verge, with the wheels facing your property. Make sure it is not more than one metre away from the kerb. It will help the collectors find the bins easily.
- Take note of the collection schedule. Typically, residents are required to place the bins on the specified location in their property by 6 AM.
- For recycle bins, they should be about half a metre away from the rubbish bin. This way, the collection truck’s arm can quickly collect the bins one after the other without a hitch.
- Bins should not be placed behind cars or immediately next to garage doors. They should not be under a tree canopy as well.
Note that the bins come in either dark green or red lid, which is the general rubbish bin while the one with the yellow lid is the recycling bin. However, the general waste bins with dark green lids may soon be replaced with red in compliance with the Australian Standard 4123.7-2008 for Mobile Waste Containers – Colours, Markings, and Designation Requirements.
Meanwhile, the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2008 is an act that provides waste services by the local governments in Western Australia and other regions in the country. It also sets the guidelines for container depositing and levies on waste.
The Bin Systems in Western Australia
There are two bin systems in Western Australia: two and three bin systems. The two-bin system is comprised of the recycling and rubbish or general waste bins, as discussed above. You can have two or three bins depending on the size of your property.
Typically, properties that are below 400m2 have two bins, as well as those living in apartments and other multi-residential properties. Rural homes are also a part of the two-bin system in WA.
The government issues three bins to residents that require a waste bin for their garden waste, which can be converted to mulch. In some cities, the three-bin system has already rolled out to all residential properties that are over 400m2. However, rural, commercial, apartments, and industrial properties are not included in the rollout.
The three-bin system is comprised of the following:
- Yellow bin lid: Measures 240 litres and is used for recycling
- Lime or green lid: Measuring 240 litres and used for garden organics
- Red lid bins: Measure 140 litres and are for collecting general waste
If you still have the dark green lid, it will soon be replaced with the right colour and the existing lid will be recycled.
The Waste and Recycling Bin Guide for Perth Residents
Although this guide is for those in Perth, residents of other places, especially those in nearby areas can use it.
The latest report showed that Australia produced 67 million tonnes of waste in 2016 to 2017 compared to 66 million tonnes in 2014-2015. Only 37 million tonnes of waste were recycled from 2016 to 2017. However, it was a one-million-tonne increase compared to the period of 2014-2015.
The report also stated that the highest resource recovery and recycling rates occurred in South Australia. Meanwhile, Western Australia was at the fourth spot after Victoria and New South Wales.
With millions of tonnes of waste produced every year, citizens are encouraged to do their part in taking care of their waste disposal. Residents and commercial business owners simply have to put their unwanted things in the bin. The council will then take them away. It sounds straightforward and it is!
Once the waste is out of your property, you forget about it. However, the amount only gets bigger every year and it may become a problem in the coming years. Landfills are getting more rubbish than they can soon handle. It is why the Western Australian government set a target: to reduce 65% of landfill use by 2020.
The good news is that it seems that the initiative is working. In the last few years, Perth did see huge growth in landfill diversion from 12 to 20 per cent.
This guide is to help residents, visitors, and businesses in the city and even the whole state to reduce waste production:
- You can select the items that do not create waste over those that you normally use. The best approach is to avoid producing waste in the first place. Planning and making conscious decisions on the items you buy can lower the amount of waste produced.
- Waste reduction is achievable when you only purchase the things you need. This method also aids in reducing clutter, especially if you buy smaller quantities of the items.
- Reusing the items you no longer need can certainly lower the waste produced all over the city.
- Some items can be repurposed or repaired instead of throwing them into the bin. Check them first before deciding to completely let them go.
- Raw materials can be obtained from the item that you may have recycled, allowing you to create new products out of them. There are also waste that can be transformed into energy.
Remember that everything that you did not recycle, reuse, recover, or repurpose will go directly to a landfill, or worse in the environment.
Other Helpful Tips for Bin Use
In an effort to lower the amount of waste that you, your family, or business produces, the following ideas can help:
- Plan your shopping and opt for reusable products whenever necessary.Some examples of reusable items are Bring-Your-Own cups and bottles and shopping bags. For your electronics that require batteries, you should choose rechargeable ones over those that you can throw away after use. Always choose reusable straws over plastics, which is a movement that can also help the planet.
- Join groups with purpose targeted at reducing wasteFacebook and other social media platforms allow citizens of Perth and the whole country to unite against the overproduction of waste. You can join these small online communities where people work together to create items from their waste materials and other things they no longer need.Instead of throwing these items away, they give them away to other people who may have a use for them. You can participate in the exchange where you can give or receive. It helps reduce waste, save you money, and even boost community togetherness. Plus, you get free items, although you should only take what you need.
- Take care of the bins.Follow all the rules and guidelines in using the bins, especially the items that you can and cannot place in them. Ensure that you always close the lid to keep pests away from your home. It will also help minimise smells.If you have a kitchen bin, you need to keep it clean as well. For wheelie bins that the council owns, you may not think about cleaning them since they are outside your home anyway. However, they can become a breeding ground for pests and disease-causing bacteria.
You can use rubbish bags to avoid attracting insects. Store your bins properly, making sure they do not emit strong odours. You can also squirt some citrus juice on the lid and handle.
Hire a Skip Bin for Your Property
Although you already have the wheelie bins, hiring a skip bin can be beneficial for you. If you have construction projects, for instance, you can hire a skip bin from Backyard Bins to help get rid of construction waste, asbestos, and garden waste that are not allowed in regular bins.
Backyard Bins Team
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