Green Bins are Only the Beginning

We’d like you to meet Rob, one of our members, speaking for many when he asks:

“Where are the green bins?”

Council’s answer is that the household and garden waste in our red-topped bins is taken to Eastern Creek and separated out at a “waste recovery facility.” The food scraps and garden waste are turned into compost, and the system cuts down on the number of heavy Council vehicles contributing to climate change with their emissions.

It’s not a bad answer. But many residents understandably miss the green bins. When there’s a lot of foliage to prune, the red bins aren’t big enough. And what happens when diseased plant matter is put in with healthy organic material suitable for composting? Shouldn’t the whole fleet of garbage trucks all be electric vehicles anyway?

Perhaps it’s time for a review of options for waste management in Blacktown.

Waste management gone mad: incinerators

Council might say they are already working on such a review. Do you remember the survey they put out last year, where you didn’t have to be a genius to figure out that you were being guided to pick options that include incinerators?

Right now, it looks as though the NSW state government has taken so-called “energy-from-waste” incinerators off the table for Western Sydney. But we must be vigilant. Even the most up-to-date incinerators need waste and pollute our air and water. The one planned for Lithgow endangers our beautiful Blue Mountains. Closer to home, chances are that the promoters of incinerators planned for Blacktown and Eastern Creek are looking for loopholes that will let their projects go ahead.

Why tolerate “solutions” that need a constant flow of waste, release toxic micro-particles into the air, and contribute to global warming? Wouldn’t it be better to reduce waste in the first place?

We say: to protect land, air and water, set the goal as ZERO WASTE.

What Len will do to help us reach the goal of ZERO WASTE

ZERO WASTE requires action by both state and local governments. The NSW government already has a Plastics Action Plan that will respond to citizens’ concerns by phasing out single-use plastics, for example. But local councils have a role to play, and that’s where Len comes in.

As your Ward 2 councillor, Len will push Council to consider a range of ZERO WASTE options, including:

  • LISTENING to residents for a change, and

    • EITHER providing a green bins option

    • OR Rethinking the waste bin system to accommodate a FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) service such that compostable food waste and healthy garden waste go in the same bin;

  • Community composting projects, like the ones that the City of Sydney council has supported;

  • Installing more solar-powered smart bins in ovals, parks and playgrounds to help the community achieve zero litter;

  • Promoting online community waste sharing networks so that households and businesses (especially cafes and restaurants) that have waste to spare can gift it to others that can use it—to help their veggies grow, for instance.

And Len will firmly resist any Council initiative to utilize “energy-from-waste” incineration anywhere in Western Sydney or the Blue Mountains.