Talk about being out of touch …

The Herald Sun is reporting:

COUNCILS across Melbourne could move to fortnightly rubbish collections under a plan to reduce food waste ending up in landfill.

A state government agency has recommended that food and garden refuse be collected in special bins weekly, and converted to compost.

But it urged that the standard weekly garbage collection become a fortnightly service, to encourage recycling.

I’m astonished to discover that a Victorian state government agency doesn’t know that this happens already.

So here is how it works – the local councils already collect garbage, green waste, and recycling in separate bins.  Green waste and recycling are collected every other week. Garbage is collected every week. What is being proposed above is a timing change.

If you are wise you invest in a composter – that means that very little, if any, green waste is produced by your household. I can’t remember the last time I put out a green bin. The composter takes care of garden stuff and kitchen stuff (I was surprised at how much less we were putting into the garbage after we got the composter).  I struggle to fill the garbage bin every week.

Now I realise that becomes an argument to collect the garbage less frequently. For a reduction in rates and taxes I would be more than happy to agree to such a deal. As it is I can’t see why garbage collection should be funded by a land tax as opposed to a flat fee. On that topic why we have a local council at all is an open question. Happy to have those discussions.

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57 Responses to Talk about being out of touch …

  1. why we have a local council

    Simples. A training ground for ALP and gangreen parliamentarians.

  2. Driftforge

    As it is I can’t see why garbage collection should be funded by a land tax as opposed to a flat fee.

    Much of a muchness, given garbage collection contributes to land value.

  3. wal1957

    Better yet. why don’t we get rid of the federal loonies that run the country!
    The whole country would run much smoother without any of their interference.

  4. This is already happening in South Gippsland, the Bass Coast Shire started doing this last year or early this year and the South Gippsland Shire is going to follow suit. This is just another money saving exercise in the same vein as getting rid of our roadside collection, no more free dumping of green waste at the local tip etc.

    This is utterly ridiculous, as it assumes that people generate massive amounts of ‘green’ waste, such as from vegetables. A large family would be generating stuff that is neither recyclable nor green waste in major quantities and with the smaller waste bins, they are going to be in trouble. And just imagine (or not) what the bins will small like after two weeks of an Australian summer.

    I’ll bet no one has considered the unintended consequences of this action.

  5. Big_Nambas

    Every time I go to my local transfer station the green waste is being mixed with the general rubbish and sent to landfill. I don’t understand why they collect the green waste separately in the first place it’s just a waste of money.
    As for local government where do you think the current mob in Canberra came from?

  6. Fred

    I throw all my food scraps over the balcony into my backyard.

    It feeds the foxes and cats.

    I can throw a chicken carcass out and the next day it is magically gone!

  7. JohnJJJ

    If you are wise you invest in a composter

    Ahh so speaks the suburbs. Try that in flats or in places without gardens. The free composing bins provided by our local council led to a run of rats. All the greenies filled them and then, as is their want (laziness and virtue signalling) , left them. It was a party for the rodents. I was catching up to five rats and mice a day. Not as simple as you make out comrade.

  8. DB

    COUNCILS across Melbourne could move to fortnightly rubbish collections under a plan to reduce food waste ending up in landfill.

    Sounds like a plan for food (and other) waste being dumped in bins in parks and laneways. People are not going to horde their waste.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Not as simple as you make out comrade.

    It never is – yet a solution that fits for many.

  10. John Constantine

    Big Australia donated to us by chicom dogbox developers selling the amenity of the city has made us so rich that we can afford to only collect waste half as often.

    Comrades.

  11. RobK

    The joys of high density living.
    I note that in-sink maceraters were popular in the US, i don’t know if that’s still so, but with deep sewerage i cant see why meal scraps cant go via the sewer in high density #@!holes. Why double handle?

  12. Mark M

    The utter futility of asking Joe Public to sort his domestic rubbish is made clear in this article:

    Non-recyclable causes fire at Chittenden County recycling facility

    “We cannot 100 percent control what people put in their recycling,” he said.

    There are two classes of people that create problems for the employees sorting recyclables at the MRF, said Finity.

    “Some people don’t care at all, they’re just looking for a hole to toss their stuff in.”

    Members of the second class — deemed “wishful recyclers” by the district — put items like pizza-stained cardboard boxes or pots and pans into the blue bins, hoping the facility can recycle them.

    https://vtdigger.org/2018/08/01/non-recyclable-causes-fire-chittenden-county-recycling-facility/

    The great recycling myth
    There’s absolutely no need to separate our rubbish by hand.

    “Everybody involved in the waste industry knows this simple fact: all rubbish can be sorted much more efficiently by machines without the need for any human intervention.

    That may come as a surprise to you, but think about it for a moment.

    We are the generation that built the large hadron collider.

    Do you really think that it has been beyond human ingenuity to invent a simple and cheap machine that can distinguish a tin can from a glass bottle?

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/01/why-kerbside-recycling-is-just-slave-labour-for-councils/

  13. Roger

    On that topic why we have a local council at all is an open question.

    Think about it:

    Do you really want to put garbage collection into the hands of your state government?

    On a philosophical note:

    The more government functions that can be and are devolved to the local level the better.

    Don’t feed the Leviathan!

  14. Sinclair Davidson

    Do you really want to put garbage collection into the hands of your state government?

    It already is – local councils only have delegated power and the public servants do all the work anyway. The local MP could manage it all.

  15. Robber Baron

    Less rubbish collection = more rats, mice, cockroaches, stray cats, bad smells, disease and so on.

    How progressive!

  16. Fred

    “Some people don’t care at all, they’re just looking for a hole to toss their stuff in.”

    Interestingly, that’s my attitude to rubbish and sex.

  17. A fortnightly general; garbage collection might be OK for some but not others.
    Smelly food scraps (e.g. chicken carcasses, fish bones, etc.) can perhaps be frozen and then placed in the bin just before the next collection.
    But what about households that include young children (disposable nappies) and senior citizens (incontinence pads)?
    In some instances the health risks associated with a fortnightly general garbage collection are quite significant.

  18. Roger

    It already is – local councils only have delegated power and the public servants do all the work anyway.

    Good luck complaining to someone in Spring St. when your rubbish isn’t collected.

  19. The Countess

    Our recycling bin is collected fortnightly.
    The garbage bin is collected fortnightly.
    The green waste bin is collected weekly.
    It is deeply unsatisfactory.

  20. Megan

    We have composted for years but gave it up last year when we could no longer tolerate the rats and the possums strewing it across the yard. And that was with regular rat poison drops. The last straw for the man of the house was a massive rodent running across the paving and hiding behind the barbeque in broad daylight.

  21. RobK

    . The local MP could manage it all.
    Somethings i find very funny.

  22. Singleton Engineer

    Land value does not determine the waste removal cost where I live, in semi-rural NSW. Is it possible that Vic is more than a decade behind NSW?

    NSW, despite each council setting its own annual charge, it is still far from “User pays”. We compost what we can, including most weeds. We recycle consistently.

    Result:
    Mandated service and (my common usage):
    General – Red lid bin. Weekly. (monthly)
    Recyclables – Yellow lid bin. Fortnightly. (monthly)
    Green waste (Green lid bin). Fortnightly. (twice a year, containing prickly pear and other uncompostible weeds)
    Annual roadside clean-up (never used)
    Annual “free” trailer ticket for the tip (never used)
    We also compost most organics, but not meat scraps or oils.
    Paper, we shred before composting, usually as mulch.
    Cash-back bottles, we deliver to a local youth club which uses the income.

    The 9 waste streams are actually little to no work.

    Big Brother overprovides and charges me for 104 services each year, half of which I neither need nor use.

    This is perhaps better than Vic, but still far from ideal, considering that for a couple of decades it has been practical to fit microchips to the bins, weighing equipment to the trucks and cameras to record the contents and/or assist the driver to avoid picking up inappropriate contents. That enables a proper “user pays” system for single occupancy dwellings. Units and flats are not so simple.

    One more waste stream – sewer – was also changed in NSW from a rate based on land value to an annual fee. What does Victoria do?

  23. Mark

    Those of us living under the Nillumbik regime have had fortnightly collection for years.

    The reality is that you end up contracting with a private rubbish collection service to augment the council service. These guys are typically happy to give you a nice big wheelly bin for ‘rubbish’ with no sorting required.

    Roughly half the houses in our street use private collectors.

    We’ve been in Eltham about 8 years now and the fortnightly collection predated us, so i cant say if they initially lowered rates with the introduction of the lower levels of service, but it is worth noting that Nillumbik has over that time consistently charged one of the highest rates in Melbourne.

  24. RobK

    Chooks are savage rodent hunters. I have a couple in the house yard. Deadly to mice, rats, grasshoppers, bobtails, snakes and slaters. You get Eggs too, they are entertaining and they love food scraps.

  25. Diogenes

    One more waste stream – sewer – was also changed in NSW from a rate based on land value to an annual fee.

    Ditto water if not in Sydney
    I was reliably informed this was so that councils did not have to include a pensioner discount

  26. Roger

    …it is worth noting that Nillumbik has over that time consistently charged one of the highest rates in Melbourne.

    Those poetry readings and art exhibitions don’t fund themselves, you know.

  27. a happy little debunker

    Couldn’t afford a shiny new Compost bin – so ‘built’ one by recycling a busted up old apple bin that had lost it’s base with some weed matting stapled around the inside and a pallet placed on top.

  28. John of Mel

    This is utterly ridiculous, as it assumes that people generate massive amounts of ‘green’ waste, such as from vegetables. A large family would be generating stuff that is neither recyclable nor green waste in major quantities and with the smaller waste bins, they are going to be in trouble.

    The issue of the lack of vegetable waste will be resolved by our UN overlords when they introduce our new vegetarian diet in a few years time.

  29. FelixKruell

    COUNCILS across Melbourne could move to fortnightly rubbish collections under a plan to reduce food waste ending up in landfill.

    Sounds like a plan to reduce services to residents without reducing rates/levies. All hidden behind a feel-good ‘let’s reduce food waste in landfill’.

    No thanks. This is the one service I actually appreciate from the council.

  30. John of Mel

    Mark We’ve been in Eltham about 8 years now

    Off-topic.
    Mark, did you by any chance live in Doreen before moving to Eltham?

  31. Diogenes

    Couldn’t afford a shiny new Compost bin

    I have absolutely no use for a compost bin, either to use the finished product, nor do I have enough food waste and any green waste is either palm fronds or grass(actually weed) clippings to make it worthwhile (Fruit & veg are what food eat !) .

    Mrs Diogenes is forever getting up me for putting green waste recycling in the normal waste as I want to get rid of it this THIS week, as there is plenty of room in the normal waste. Note I do not deliberately contaminate green or recycling as much as I am tempted.

  32. Sinclair Davidson

    Good luck complaining to someone in Spring St. when your rubbish isn’t collected.

    I’ve no doubt I’ll have just as much satisfaction as when dealing with Civic Parade.

  33. Mark

    John of Mel Mark, did you by any chance live in Doreen before moving to Eltham?

    No previously in Prahan, small bins but collected once a week. That was pre kids .

  34. John Constantine

    The best thing about councils is that you can light up your outback rubbish pit on the sunday night of a long weekend and no inspectors will ever show up for a look.

    Unserviced property means ungraded dirt roads, no rubbish collection. They still demand rates to save the planet though.

  35. Forgot to put the bins out last night, walk of shame in my immediate future.

    Good point about a composter, I will look into that.

  36. We too found that having a compost bin cuts the landfill waste bin to minimal levels most weeks. My council will up the size of the landfill bin from 80L to 120L for $50/year. Or, you can get a second bin for $236/year.

    I’ve often wondered if it would be more efficient to take all the organic waste every week and feed into an industrial composter to make biogas and fertilizer. My compost takes about two years to break down. I’m guessing because 25L bags of compost are $4 at Bunnings there isn’t much money to be made after transport etc etc?

  37. Percy Popinjay

    Is a council worker sifting through ratepayers’ bins to determine who hasn’t sorted their rubbish correctly classified as engaged in a “green jerb”?

  38. Suburban Boy

    The willingness of otherwise sensible people to spend precious time sorting their household waste never ceases to amaze me.

    Do they really have nothing better to do with their lives, or do they really think they are saving the planet?

    Sure, the local council might be especially stingy in the volume or frequency of waste removal, but there are ways around that (private rubbish collection or nonconforming use of recycling bins).

  39. H B Bear

    Sounds good in theory. I have a worm farm for vegetable scraps and they just eat everything down to virtually nothing. The problem with green waste composting (and co-mingled recycling) is contamination caused by people not knowing what can and cannot go into which bin. The giant scare campaign about China not taking our recyclables was actually about contamination rates and prices. That seems to have died as the media circus moved on too.

  40. Mother Lode

    For a reduction in rates and taxes I would be more than happy to agree to such a deal.

    They would see that as giving you some of their money.

    There is no reason that they should be subsidising you for doing your civic duty.

  41. EvilElvis

    Big green has so infiltrated our very beings that despite encouraging mass immigration and population Ponzi schemes we are not allowed by the same green powers to dig new rubbish tips. Hence low hanging fruit is bullied into more ridiculous schemes like this and banning coffee cups, like that’s the fucking issue. The issue is the trickle down bullshit that like minded ratepayer funded council’s are swallowing the green crap from their tax payer funded betters in state and federal bureacracys. Where is the banding together of shires to start dumping waste on the relevant ministers doorsteps until sanity prevails? Don’t even start on the recycling debacle, FFS. What a country.

  42. Megan

    Chooks are savage rodent hunters. I have a couple in the house yard. Deadly to mice, rats, grasshoppers, bobtails, snakes and slaters. You get Eggs too, they are entertaining and they love food scraps.

    I’d love to have chickens for all the reasons you mention but sadly I live where there are plenty of urban foxes that have decimated the chook population in our neighbourhood. With sound effects.

  43. Rockdoctor

    Townsville City Council charges some of the highest rates in Queensland & all we get is a sheltered ALP workshop employing party types on cosy sinecures in council, on Council supported boards or favours to a very wealthy developer that is in the process of relocating to the Sunshine Coast. On rubbish they are bleating about illegal dumping which is going through the roof when tipping was up till not long ago free. Even worse is the incompetent Mayor got rid of tip tickets and introduced a kerbside collection that cost more than the tickets, ran overtime & pulled precious resources from the waste department to make happen.

    Worse still the ratepayers will probably re-elect her…

  44. Entropy

    Do you really want to put garbage collection into the hands of your state government?

    Local governments are instruments of the state government. They are not in the constitution and are a creation of a local government act by the relevant state.

    In the old days they did the water, power, sewerage and built roads. And collected the garbage.

    Nowadays they don’t do water, power or more than maintain roads. Some no longer even do sewerage. They all still do the garbage, and in addition inpose numerous by laws to make anyone stupid enough to think about building a house pay thousands of dollars in certificates. Oh, and fact finding tours overseas for councillors, and a wage higher than the Premier for the CEO. Even for shires with 500 residents.

    I think it would be a very brave idiot of a politician that would suggest getting rid of local government, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone would sit back after ten years and say, you know, we should have them back. Problem is, they are an institution like the ABC, untouchable.

  45. Boambee John

    Our recycling bin is collected fortnightly.
    The garbage bin is collected fortnightly.
    The green waste bin is collected weekly.

    We put all food scraps into the green waste bin.

    I am not really happy that the composting process is adequate to deal with meat scraps and bones without some health implications, but no epidemics of gardeners with botulism yet!

  46. Entropy

    You should not put meat scraps in compost. That is terrible hygiene.

    I actually don’t care about frequncy of collecting the recycling bin or the green waste bin, but the waste bin should be collected as frequently as possible. For odour and hygiene reasons.
    Lismore council, greens infested as it is, only collects the bin once a fortnight, and it is half the size of the green waste and recycling bins. Mid summer, especially after occasions like Christmas, that can be quite an offensive problem. Rates are higher than ever though.

  47. Boambee John

    Megaj at 1444

    I’d love to have chickens for all the reasons you mention but sadly I live where there are plenty of urban foxes that have decimated the chook population in our neighbourhood. With sound effects.

    We are on the edge of the urban area, and get tge occasional tiger quoll
    Deadly on poultry.

  48. Entropy

    That Townsville mayor, Rockdoctor. As I recall her election platform was about local jobs for locals, but she seems to have brought in a swag of ALP hangers on from down south to do invented jobs. If they vote her back in Townsville people have no right to complain. Then again they are probably stupid enough to vote for Clive Palmer in numbers too.

  49. Boambee John

    Entropy
    #2848223, posted on October 24, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    You should not put meat scraps in compost. That is terrible hygiene.

    Indeed, but our local councillors have decreed it, and tge (summer) alternative on the NSW north coast is unappealing.

  50. Boambee John

    Entropy

    We are at Coffs Harbour.

  51. Natural Instinct

    On that topic why we have a local council at all is an open question. Happy to have those discussions.

    When the push for constitutional recognition of councils arose, John Howard was found not to be in favour. To paraphrase, he said local governments are creatures of the states and are useful for THEIR administrative purposes. The “third” level government has no separate standing in law.
    Given the number of councils that state governments sack and then appoint administrators to, then it is probably a good idea they stay under the states petticoats.
    .
    As far as recycling it was/is a joke. So speaks an engineer that spent a big chunk of his life cleaning minerals so they had not one skerrick of foreign matter, not even a baked bean per tonne!
    Let’s go back to the New York Times, when it was a paper of record.
    1996 = Recycling Is Garbage
    2015 = The Reign of Recycling

  52. Dr Fred Len

    Abolish local councillors appoint administrators in their place on moderate wage and annual contracts with no super or tr-ermination payouts . Have an inspector to overview them ,save heaps there .
    Next deprive Canberra of health ,education ,and various other duplicated departments ,let the states run those things as they do now . Federal tax collected majority to be returned to states on a per capital basis .
    Then fix the states ,privatise all possible functions to cut the number of public service parasites . You can imagine the debt reduction you could do with the money saved. The number of federal pollies could them be cut and even the senate abolished ,tragedy as that would be for the elites but thems the breaks comrades

  53. .

    Sorry Fred, I really don’t need the dickheads from Macquarie Street in my life anymore.

  54. Tel

    1996 = Recycling Is Garbage
    2015 = The Reign of Recycling

    The very tangible difference between 1996 and 2015 is the availability of China as a dumping ground and infinite cheap labour to do something with the stuff.

  55. Squirrel

    “On that topic why we have a local council at all is an open question. ”

    Along with an action plan to deal with the ABC, a future Coalition Government should have a plan for using the strings of federal funding to force the States to clean-up and cut down to size local government – which could easily be justified by the gains to the national economy.

    As others have noted, local government is a training ground for posturing lefties to build their profile before they segue into state or federal politics, it’s too often grandiose, and wastes money pandering to cranks and urban authoritarians who want to ram their views down the throats of the silent majority.

  56. Entropy

    That won’t happen squirrel. The federal government is increasingly directly funding local government as a way around delivering programs via the states, because that might require sharing credit in the announcement. Because it is all about the announcement. Of course, councils don’t have the skill set/accountability mechanisms and it is a squanderfest with variable performance from council to council.
    Problem is the state governments aren’t prepared to call the feds out on this shambolic squandering of OPM because hurty locals.

  57. stackja

    Premier Daniel Andrews says push for fortnightly garbage collections by councils ‘rubbish‘ idea
    John Masanauskas and Monique Hore, Herald Sun
    October 24, 2018 7:00pm
    Subscriber only

    VICTORIAN political leaders have rubbished a push for councils to introduce fortnightly garbage collections in a bid to cut food waste.

    Premier Daniel Andrews said Labor did not support the proposal by state agency the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group.

    “It is a rubbish proposal, and we will not be having any part of that if we are re-elected on the 24th of November,” he said.

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