Bins, bins and more bins!

sherryl clark

We love our yellow recycling bin. Or should I say, we did. It was also the site of some family disputes. My husband had a habit of throwing in things he believed should be recycled instead of sticking to the 1-7 triangle symbols. I was forever fishing things out and putting them in the normal bin!

But now we are in new territory. So new that we have a 20-page booklet on our kitchen table to help us navigate our new bin world. Four bins, all nice colours, but ultimately confusing. Not for what we can put in them, but for what we can’t. Now instead of fishing things out, I wave the booklet at my husband. I’m constantly referring to it and sighing.

Sighing? Yep. Because suddenly our big yellow bin goes out ¾ empty most fortnights, instead of full. No more 1-7 plastics. Now we are only allowed 1 and 2. I understand it. I don’t want to see warehouses full of illegally stockpiled plastic rubbish either. But it’s painful every day to have to put things in the normal rubbish that are no longer “real recyclables”. So into the bin go margarine containers, tetra packs, aerosols and any cardboard that’s coated or waxed (these days that’s most boxes and cardboard containers).

rubbish bins mebourne

Caption: Victorians Could Be Using Six Rubbish Bins to Solve Recycling Crisis … Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show.

I do love the little caddy for food waste, because we have a big worm farm/composting system and the caddy has a nice tight lid. But for other people, the food waste in the caddy goes into their green bin along with their garden clippings now. Including meat and seafood. Thankfully that one is collected weekly now.

We also now have a bright purple bin for glass, which means jars and bottles (no lids). It’s all taking a bit of getting used to, and I am sure that we are getting some of it wrong.

What’s this got to do with saving the planet? One thing I have concluded is that unless there are plans to build (right now) the kinds of plants that make all of our waste into power, like I’ve seen in Europe, I want manufacturers to change the plastic they use. I want more 1s and 2s! And I want things packaged in cardboard that’s uncoated. I doubt I’ll get either.

In the meantime, I’ll keep consulting “the booklet” on the kitchen table and doing my best to recycle, recycle, recycle.



NEW SERIES ELLYSE PERRY … follow Ellyse’s journey as she ventures into cricket, touch footy and soccer, while she struggles with friend issues and everything new in Year 7.
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