THE CURSE OF THE COUNCIL CLEAN UP
I loathe Council Clean Up days.
I’m the odd one out because all my neighbours seem to revel in the bi-annual festival of junk in the same way art lovers look forward to the Venice Biennale. They stand on the side of the road and regard old mattresses and barbeques as if they were admiring a Henry Moore sculpture.
What a wasteful bunch of tossers we are. And if Council Clean Up is lauded as a fabulous way to stop dumping stuff in nearby bushland? That makes us even worse.
Twice a year the joint looks like a war zone as the piles of unwanted stuff grow to mountainous proportions. And looking at the perfectly good things being thrown out – useable kids toys, clothes, and all manner of furniture – just makes me angry.
This was the scene in the street next to mine recently… (and the junk aficionado is not my husband, BTW.)
Twenty-four hours later, after a torrential downpour, everything that may have been useful to someone was sodden and ruined.
The Council truck came by, threw everything into the crusher and that was that. Off to landfill.
What a criminal waste of resources. We should instead see it as a great resource of waste.
They do it differently in other parts of the world – like in Germany where you can take your stuff to a waste management depot or ring someone to come and get it and it’s then arranged, under cover. People can come and browse and take what they want. Every student share house is furnished with second-hand furniture.
In the UK, the Furniture Re-use Network provides cheap used goods to some 750,000 low-income households; employs 3000 staff and 10,000 volunteers and diverts 90,000 tonnes of waste from landfill. It’s a business worth more than $100 million every year.
What do we have in Australia?
A rag-tag collection of blokes with utes picking through the refuse at dawn, often smashing stuff that could be used as they collect valuable metal odds and ends. And why not? Since it’s all going to end up as toxic mulch anyway.
Yep, it’s all soon out of sight and out of mind when you come home from work and the nature strip’s clean again, apart from the odd flat screen TV someone sneaked into the pile (against the rules) that then sits there for weeks more.
Hooray! Time to buy new stuff, preferably online* so it arrives just as magically as it was taken away.
My Dad cries when he sees what’s chucked out for Council Clean Up.
|Page 1 of 2||next >>|