Anne Marie's Australian Adventure

Follow the Adventures of Anne Marie, Fergus, Cooper and Bean Sidhe in Australia!!

A word about…garbage

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 31, 2008

There are many things I Iike about living in Australia but I must tell you garbage and the collection of it really impresses me. They are very good about recycling here in Canberra and I’m assuming in the rest of the country as well. You get two trash containers(everyone has the same trash cans owned by the government, one for actual garbage – food scraps. etc. and one for recyclables). You don’t need to separate the glass from the paper, or the cardboard,  you don’t have to take it to a recycle center, and you don’t have a tiny bin to put it all in you get a full size trash container for it all – in fact it is even larger than the regular trash can.

They pick up the trash every week but only pick up the recycle bin every other week. They have these trash collection trucks that grab the bins and tip them into the collection truck. That’s the reason they all have to be the same style trash cans. The yellow lidded cans are the recycle bins. I tried to get a picture of that but my timing was off and it tipped it all in before I could snap the picture. At the markets – those weekend farmers markets- they even have two separate bins. Now this maybe happening in many places in the US but in Kansas they don’t even recycle unless you do it yourself and even then it’s hard to find a location to take your recycle materials to.

In contrast if you go to a park or even in the malls you can never find a trash can. At the mall, the cafes or food stands may have some trash cans, and the food courts have them, but you don’t find many as you walk thru the hall ways.  Canberra is famous for it’s lakeside walking paths, the nature reserves, parks and green beltways through the subburbs (or what we would call neighborhoods). With all of this public access area you would think that they would provide trash cans along the way. But they are scarce especially when you need one. They encourage people to pick up after their dogs and for the most part people are really good about it – and we have been very diligent about taking a roll of blue poop bags with us – but then we have to walk around carrying these colorful but often disgusting packages of recycled materials from our dogs’ last meal. I don’t get it.

Over all, Oz is a very “green” country. We (our little family) generate A LOT of waste – paper mostly from us and the other kind of waste from the dogs. It’s nice to know some of it recyclable.


2 Responses to “A word about…garbage”

  1. Chris said

    Can tell you haven’t lived in the bay area for a while! At my kids school they have assemblies about recycling and even had a “fun” race between kids and teachers of who could put their lunch garbage in the proper bin the fastest. We are supposed to separate our household compostable garbage into a small bin to then be put into our green garbage can once a week. A woman told me in her town the regular garbage can service now costs more than the service of the recycle cans! I’m in a bit of trouble for getting paper and plastic for the 9th grade picnic instead of paying twice as much for some sort of potato product or something that is more easily degradable. eeekkkk…
    There are special composters you can buy for your dogs poop tooooo… (grin)

  2. Marsha Lubetkin said

    Seattle recycles! We have big recycling bins that are picked up every other week and yardwaste bins that are picked up on the oppoiste week. They encourage you to put food scraps (no meat) in the yardwaste bin and all yard clippings. That bin can also take greasy pizza boxes, napkins, paper towels. The garbage collectors check and if you have too many recycle items in your trash can, you get a warning and they won’t take it, and eventually will be fined if you don’t start recycling.

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