Face Your Waste, Perth: would a clear bin make you throw out less?

Karen Haseldine and her son Miles (2). Photo: Martin Kennealey
Karen Haseldine and her son Miles (2). Photo: Martin Kennealey

COULD see-through rubbish and recycling bins be what it takes to make people take responsibility for just how much they throw away?

A new environmental campaign is changing the face of the waste conversation by making people look at their waste and what they are putting into landfill.

Clear rubbish bins will replace traditional green bins in some local streets during the next eight weeks to draw attention to a new campaign to help people reduce their rubbish and recycling loads.

The campaign Face Your Waste, to be launched by Mindarie Regional Council next week, hopes to encourage a culture of waste minimisation and get people thinking about where their waste goes beyond their rubbish bin.

“The idea behind the clear bins is so people can’t ignore what is going in their bin,” Mindarie Regional Council chief executive Gunther Hoppe said.

“They can see how full their neighbour’s bin is and start a conversation about how they reduce their waste.”

As part of the campaign, 20 see-through bins will be rotated on busy, high traffic streets during the next eight weeks.

There is no plan for clear bins to permanently replace traditional green rubbish and recycling bins.

Campaign creators acknowledged the ‘gimmick’ was controversial but designed to jolt a realisation that reducing rubbish and recycling is not just a problem for the local council – it’s everyone’s problem.

“We want people to look at how they can not generate the waste in the first place or re-use or re-purpose the materials they are recycling,” Mr Hoppe said.

It is predicted that landfill site Tamala Park will be completely full by 2028, leaving the 200,000 tonnes of rubbish from households from Victoria Park to Two Rocks without anywhere to go – or the prospect of having to be redirected to another landfill site in Perth, almost certainly at a higher cost.

The Tamala Park facility, which is near Mindarie, processes rubbish from households in seven local government areas – Wanneroo, Joondalup, Stirling, Perth, Vincent, Cambridge and Victoria Park.

“For the average punter a lot of us don’t know there’s a problem,” Mr Hoppe said.

“It’s out of sight, but there is a real issue that in 10 years this landfill site will be full.

“We want to create awareness that what we generate does cause a problem. For so long recycling has been the answer to waste and it’s great rather than seeing waste going into landfill.

“Now we want people to look at their recycling bin and think how can we reduce what’s in there.”

His biggest tip for householders was to reduce packaging, because “we buy too much packaging”.

Mr Hoppe said the campaign would support a State Government initiative to divert more waste from landfill.

“The State Government have set a target that by 2020, 65 percent of household rubbish shouldn’t be going to landfill,” he said.

“We’re trying to target the waste streams, before they become waste streams.”

How to reduce your waste

• Line your household rubbish bin with newspaper instead of buying plastic bin bags.
• Buy what you need and will use to avoid waste
• By loose instead of packaged
• Avoid plastic containers
• Reuse glass jars for vases and candle holders
• Check your council’s website for more about what can be reused or recycled

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