Posts Tagged ‘Recycling’

 

After being advised that the new Canterbury Bankstown Council will implement an Environment and Sustainability Committee I decided to talk to a manager about how it might work.

I was really impressed by some of the activities the former Bankstown Council has been carrying out. Canterbury Council was doing some similar activities but there are differences between what the two were doing.

Firstly we discussed the Litter Prevention Program. It started when the team wanted to know what they needed to do to change people’s behaviour. They decided to target the river areas where people regularly went and where there was significant amounts of litter. They asked people they saw littering whether they felt responsible for the litter. The majority did. A number believed that Council was also responsible. This led to a change of bins, and “The Pledge” where people made a commitment not to litter.

Different types of bins were trialled for a year. People won’t use bins that aren’t easy to use, are overfilled, or that are dirty to touch. Every summer staff would target popular areas of high litter count and ask people to put rubbish in the bin, then take a pledge to not litter. Photos were taken and displayed.

After 4 years the scheme was evaluated and, as a result, expanded.

Next to be targeted were spots where takeaway food packaging was dumped. Many people didn’t think what they were doing was littering. There was a trial of flashing signs in some key areas, such as parks: two weeks of “Do the Right Thing”;  one week of “Fines for Littering Apply”. Surveillance teams operated at different times and on different days, including Sundays, for a number of weeks.

Town centres were targetted next with similar programs. All three programs have had a positive impact in reducing litter.

Meanwhile a project initiated by the former Canterbury Council has received a NSW Excellence in the Environment Award for a new recycling initiative program. The construction of new apartments generates a lot of packaging and material that is thrown out. Bays were made available to store the unwanted materials and extra collections were organised as needed.

Canterbury Bankstown Council will set up a Program for City Resilience within the context of one for the whole of Sydney. City resilience is about anticipating the inevitable events that cause disruption and then developing strategies to reduce their impacts to the greatest extent possible.

The Council also has a focus on energy, combining the “Our Energy Future” program with the “Our Solar Future” program.

Finally we discussed natural resources. Work is being done on catchments and biodiversity with: ibis plan, rabbit control, habitat boxes, National Tree Day, and backyard biodiversity.

I still think that the merger of the two councils has led to a municipality that is way too big, but in regard to environmental and sustainability issues, I am excited about combining Canterbury’s activities and knowledgeable staff with Bankstown’s. I’m hopeful the new committee will have plenty to do to assist and support working to improve the sustainability of our environment in Canterbury-Bankstown and beyond.

Cr Linda Eisler

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Tackling the Bottle Menace

From the Valley Times on November 27th, 2008

A PUSH to support the adoption of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW will be put to tonight’s Canterbury Council meeting.

Greens Councillor Linda Eisler will suggest Council support the Greens in their campaign to set up a CDS, which adds a percentage to the price of a drink and is refunded when the container is deposited.

“Such as the one in South Australia,” Ms Eisler said, where 5c is refunded for every container returned.

The total recovery rate of recyclables in South Australia is 80 per cent, compared to less than 40 per cent in other states, and this is particularly concerning as Australians use five billion drink containers every year, with much of it ending up in landfill or as litter on the streets.

“I’m pretty sure it will be accepted [in Council], it doesn’t cost us anything,” Ms Eisler said.

A temporary CDS was set up in Newtown earlier this year where 10c was refunded for every bottle collected, and in two hours more than 2300 bottles were returned.

“It’s certainly better than seeing it in the river,” Ms Eisler said.  “It’s like seeing the Spanish Armada.”

If accepted, Canterbury Council will write to the Premier and Minister for Environment and Climate Change outlining benefits of the scheme and their support for it.

“[We need to] put pressure on the State Government to accept [the CDS],” Ms Eisler said.

“It has to be a state initiative. Anything we do for the environment is good.”

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Deposit on Containers

From the Torch Canterbury on November 27th, 2008

A PUSH to support the adoption of a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in NSW will be put to tomorrow’s Canterbury Council meeting.

Greens Councillor Linda Eisler will suggest Council support the Greens in their campaign to set up a CDS, which adds a percentage to the price of a drink and is refunded when the container is deposited.

“Such as the one in South Australia,” Ms Eisler said, where 5c is refunded for every container returned.

The total recovery rate of recyclables in South Australia is 80 per cent, compared to less than 40 per cent in other states, and this is particularly concerning as Australians use five billion drink containers every year, with much of it ending up in landfill or as litter on the streets.

“I’m pretty sure it will be accepted [in Council], it doesn’t cost us anything,” Ms Eisler said.

A temporary CDS was set up in Newtown earlier this year where 10c was refunded for every bottle collected, and in two hours more than 2300 bottles were returned.

“It’s certainly better than seeing it in the river,” Ms Eisler said.   “It’s like seeing the Spanish Armada.”

If accepted, Canterbury Council will write to the Premier and Minister for Environment and Climate Change outlining benefits of the scheme and their support for it.

“[We need to] put pressure on the State Government to accept [the CDS],” Ms Eisler said.  “It has to be a state initiative. Anything we do for the environment is good.”

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