Clarence Valley Council environmental officer Richard Roper and J.R. Richards and Sons regional manager Phil Baynham with some of the 40,000 new waste bins.
Clarence Valley Council environmental officer Richard Roper and J.R. Richards and Sons regional manager Phil Baynham with some of the 40,000 new waste bins.

Bin there, done that

THE LONG hot days of summer have arrived and, as the valley lurches into the swing of silly season celebrations, our waste management system will be put to the test.

Frustrated with his own full waste bins, Grafton resident Michael McIvor turned to social media to do his own informal survey of residents.

He said the current system, which was introduced in July 2012 to reduce waste and maximise recycling, was not working and it was time to re-evaluate.

With more than 275 responses, Mr McIvor found he wasn't alone and many commentators agreed the red bin (for general waste) needed to be emptied weekly rather than fortnightly.

"It could work if everyone was recycling minded - it could be fantastic," Mr McIvor said.

"I think it's a great idea but in reality it doesn't happen like that.

"When I look up my street I can see many of my neighbours don't give a stuff - it's only the minority that recycle and it frustrates me.

"I try to do as much recycling as I can, but my red bin is always chockas and overflowing, and I'm just confused every week about what bin goes out."

Likewise The Daily Examiner also consulted our Facebook friends about the issue, and got some pretty descriptive responses - most of them in favour of having the red bin collected weekly, not fortnightly.

Jayc Salter said he doesn't call them bins anymore.

"They are called the maggot farms," he said.

"It hasn't reduced waste from our house in the slightest. Just made the place stink and a breeding ground for flies."

Responding to the comments, Deputy Mayor Craig Howe said he wasn't aware of any plans to formally review the system, but it wasn't out of the question.

"The system is not perfect - I understand the nappy problem and they're not something you can put in the freezer," Mr Howe said.

"I don't want to be flippant about it, but it's a short- term problem.

"Apart from that, I have lots of people telling me they love it.

"If you sort your food scraps into the green bin then there aren't an issue."

Although he didn't have the data on hand, Mr Howe said he believed the recycling rates had improved dramatically, which was the whole point.

"People are doing it," he said. "Yes, it's inconvenient until we get used to it.

"For now we are asking people to give it a go and if it's not working, let us know. Reviews are always possible and if there's a groundswell, so be it. But it's doing its job."



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