Tag Archives: recycling

Domestic Waste Management…

One of the biggest issues I deal with on a daily basis in my day job is domestic waste management.  I’ll admit sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating that people are just not getting the message about the 5 Rs… Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Redistribute.

I will be quick to mention that waste management in my household is not perfect. However I think we do a pretty good job with a household of six. The little ones are still getting use to separating the waste but it is a work in progress.

For those that don’t know about our kerbside waste service we have a 120Lt general waste bin, a 240Lt recycling bin and a 240Lt organics bin through NAWMA (Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority).  I am amazed by the amount of people who tell me this is not enough.  Personally I would be lucky to fill up my general waste bin on a weekly basis.  Whereas my other two fortnightly bins (recycling and organics) are usually bursting at the brim to be emptied every fortnight.  However before I look to purchase another recycling or organics bin (an option that is available to us) I really need to look at ways I can reduce or find alternative ways to recycle.

Cans and bottles, clothes and food scraps are most probably the easiest things I can dispose of without having to place in the kerbside waste.  Cans and bottles we collect and cash in, clothes we donate and foodscraps quite often get placed in our worm farm.

At the moment we have a couple of tables and a matress to get rid of but I have taken advantage of a “free” (it is paid for within rates) hard waste service that our local council offer.  This offer allows us to until the end of the year to get rid of one 6×4 trailer at the local transfer station.

I guess some of the things that I or we could improve upon in the household is recycling soft plastics.  I guess I’ve been a little slack in implementing that “rule” into the house and making it happen.  I do hope the other supermarket chains pick it up as I tend not to shop at the big multi-nationals (for ethical reasons).

Domestic waste management does require discipline.  Even for the people who live, work and breathe sustainability.  However if a household of six can manage with the bins that the local council give us and the programs that are available for recycling on top of that I’m sure that most can.  Do a little research on your local council’s website,  “google” recycling for your area, you will be surprised with what’s out there.

Recommended Reading…

101 Ways to Recycle Everyday Household Items

Domestic Waste Management

Domestic Waste Management

Cover of "Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Se...
Cover via Amazon

Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System


What a Productive Weekend…

Had a big clean up this weekend.  The weather was just perfect for getting out in the garden and getting a few household chores done.

With the lawns mowed I decided to sort the cans and bottles and take them down to the recycling centre.  Made myself $47 to go spend down at the hardware/garden centre.  Needed some supplies to pot some plants up (including the lemon tree which Diesel liked).

While I was down at the hardware/garden centre I took advantage of the light globe recycling.  ZeroWaste SA state that this program “…ensures that globes will be recycled instead of going to landfill and prevents mercury contained in some globes from harming the environment”.

So while I was in the recycling mood I dropped off a few bags of clothing to the Lifeline bin.  Of course I put aside a couple of t-shirts to make myself a few more t-shirt bags.

Recycling and reusing was really the theme for the weekend.  I had realised how much I do recycle and reuse.  My yellow recycling bin is almost full for the fortnight (lucky it gets collected on Wednesday).  The green organic bin is also just about full.  Unfortunately for that bin I’ll have to wait another week.  Oh well perhaps I can take it easy on the weeding for the next week.  However I’m sure I will find plenty to do.

Books that may be of interest to keen recyclers and reusers…

101 Ways to Recycle Everyday Household Items

Jewelry Upcycled!: Techniques and Projects for Reusing Metal, Plastic, Glass, Fiber, and Found Objects

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew (1000 Series)

Seeing two sides of the story…

Before I express my view on this advertising campaign please take the time to watch the following video…

I am in two minds about this advertising campaign. Firstly I can see where Greenpeace are coming from. The amount of plastic in the environment is astounding. However were they right to direct all the blame on Coca-Cola. What about the consumers of these products? Would these products end up polluting the environment and killing wildlife if people didn’t litter?

I live in South Australia where there is a 10c deposit scheme in place for glass and plastic bottles, flavoured milk cartons and juice boxes. There are many reasons I like this scheme. There is less litter in the form of bottles and cartons. It also has a big affect on the micro-economy. It may sit uncomfotably for some seeing an old man rummage through bins and collecting cans and bottles but this may pay for his train ticket or a meal for the night. Is that such a bad thing? Many sports clubs (especially junior clubs) raise money through the collecting cans and bottles. It also seems to be a right of passage for South Aussie kids and earning a little extra pocket money. I know I loved it when I was a kid (back then it was only 5c).

So what has triggered all this? After a similar scheme was introduced to the Northern Territory a judge ruled earlier this year in favour of the big three beverage companies, Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia and Lion Pty Ltd, that the scheme was invalid.

NT vows to appeal drink can deposit ruling

So putting littering issues aside. Do these major beverage companies have an ethical responsibility to the consumer? I believe they do. If we are to live in a sustainable society companies need to be aware and look at life cycle management. This is instead of producing the product and forgetting about it once it leaves the warehouse. Companies need to ensure the responsible diposal of their product is accounted for.

So back to the advert. I can relate to what Greenpeace are trying to achieve in this campaign and it is a serious topic. However I believe they were wrong to point the finger directly at Coca-Cola as they are not the only ones preventing the scheme from going ahead. Perhaps the use of generic bottles could have been used. I’m sure many people would have put two and two together.

iPhone App of the Day: Plunder

Plunder: The 100% Free recycling classifieds.

This app has so much potential once more people get on board. Haven’t found any items posted up in my area to date. Many posts appear to be located around the Sydney area.

Certainly relates back to my earlier post titled – The 5th “R”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, REDISTRIBUTE.

2 stars(Certainly has potential once more people are using it.  Will keep an eye on this app.)

The 5th “R”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair, REDISTRIBUTE

Rachel Botsman: The Case for Collaborative Consumption

Botsman (2010) describes an era we are moving towards where “usage trumps possession”. This is where the consumer for example wants to listen to music but does not want to buy the CD, iTunes is a perfect example of this shift. However if a person does posses an item and they are finished with it why not redistribute? People are embracing new technology and websites dedicated to swapping and the redistribution of possesions is slowly becoming common place.

Very imformative TED Talk.