Talking Rubbish

Welcome to Talking Rubbish!

Waste is a huge part of our everyday lives yet it's something we don't often think or talk about with friends and family. We want to get the conversation started and get you Talking Rubbish so that we can all be better informed about the waste and recycling issues and practices in our Shire.

This is a forum where you can have your say about the waste and recycling topics that matter most to you and your family.

So ask us a question, tell us a story, let us know about a recycling myth you need

Welcome to Talking Rubbish!

Waste is a huge part of our everyday lives yet it's something we don't often think or talk about with friends and family. We want to get the conversation started and get you Talking Rubbish so that we can all be better informed about the waste and recycling issues and practices in our Shire.

This is a forum where you can have your say about the waste and recycling topics that matter most to you and your family.

So ask us a question, tell us a story, let us know about a recycling myth you need busted or a recycling champion in your local neighbourhood ........Let's start Talking Rubbish!


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  • Hi, Wondering whether the shire has any plans to increase our recycling bin pick up to weekly? As it is, my landfill rubbish bin is only half full each week, and my recycle is filled in a week. I've noticed quite a few councils in the state adopting the , small red lid bin for landfill waste, a large yellow lid bin for recycling (emptied weekly) and a large green lid bin for green waste. Is this something our council is looking at for the future

    Chinta asked almost 3 years ago

    Hi Chinta, 

    Thanks for your question.

    The Shire is about to start work on a waste feasibility study, where we will investigate different waste disposal and treatment options for our region and will develop an overall waste master plan which will transition us into a new system when our landfill reaches capacity in the next few years.

    We still don't have 100% uptake of recycling services in our Shire so with the current amount that we are collecting it does not justify increasing the service. This is something we hope to deal with in the very near future and would like to see every household using the recycling services. 

    In the meantime all of the Shire's waste facilities have co-mingled recycling skips on site so if you do have additional recycling you could take it there for no charge. You also have the option of adding an additional recycling service at your property for $65 per year.

    Our vision is to provide Augusta Margaret River with the best and most sustainable waste services to suit our region so changes will be made in the future, it just takes a bit of time and good planning to ensure we do it right.

  • After watching the most recent documentary on The ABC on waste, I am now slightly confused on what is best for our recycling. On the show , it was pointed out that only glass bottles and Jars are suitable for recycling not wine/table glasses or broken window panes, also that all lids from plastic bottles need to be removed and placed in rubbish( helps sorting ), and that if plastic is able to be scrunched and then bounces back to shape then it can be recycled. Not all plastics have the codes on them- can you please provide some specific examples. Also when will Margaret River show the way and become plastic bag free-? I know its a government issue, but surely we could start the ball rolling( the last effort seems to have failed as more bags are handed out than ever now) . It just seems a great opportunity to increase public awareness as there is a lot of media coverage and people talking since the siring of this show

    BlueWren asked almost 3 years ago

    Hi Blue Wren, 

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the War on Waste program, it is great that there is finally a highlight on waste issues on a national level.

    Something that was mentioned on the show was that each council area is different and what is accepted and recycled varies depending on the contractor and the markets available for the recycled product. Most of the Shire's recycling services are contracted out to Suez Environmental so what we can accept in our wheelie bins and co-mingled skip bins is dictated by them.

    With regards to glass in AMR Shire it really depends on how you are recycling it. If you bring it to a waste and recycling facility with a glass bin (Davis Road, Cowaramup Bay Road or Poole Road) any glass is accepted because we crush this glass and use it as road base in our landfill operations.  If you are putting it in a wheelie bin or one of the co-mingled recycling bins at the transfer station Suez is currently only accepting glass bottles and jars. 

    In AMR Shire we accept all plastic codes 1-6 including scrunchable plastics in our wheelie bins and the co-mingled bins at the transfer stations. Scrunchable plastics are generally stockpiled at the MRF until the contractors have a significant quantity and/or have found a market for the product. In some cases if a market cannot be found for the material it will as a last resort be landfilled. Landfilling is a very expensive option for contractors so they do their best to avoid it. 

    Lids need to be removed because they are almost always a different material than the container they are on and will degrade the quality of the recovered material. Lids are hard to recycle because of their size and they generally fall through the machinery or out of the bales if they make it that far.  

    There is a plastic bag working group in AMR Shire who has taken the position that a state wide bag ban will be the most effective way to ban the bag. It has been tried on a local level at City of Fremantle and been unsuccessful so most local governments are in favour of a state wide ban.

    The best option to tackle all of these issues it to avoid the use of the products in the first instance, hopefully continued education on the subject will encourage our community to evaluate their waste and recycling habits and look for ways to improve their current practices.

  • Why are there two different systems for recycling plastics in the Shire - one system at the tip where the only plastics table to be recycled are drink bottles and milk containers with codes 1 or 2 on them (no other containers with these containers are apparently allowed to be recycled); and the domestic recycling system where anything with codes 1, 2, 3 and 5 can be recycled? I understand that there are two different contractors involved - if we are a sustainable shire should we not look at getting as much recycled as possible in ALL areas?

    mheyink asked over 3 years ago


    The Shire is now accepting co-mingled recycling at all transfer stations. This new service will simplify the recycling process at home and allow residents to recycle as much as possible, which
    will reduce the waste that is going into our landfill. You no longer need to sort your recyclables into different materials, all recycling can now go into one bin.

    The items accepted are - 

    Metals (cans, tins and empty aerosols) 
    Paper, cardboard and magazines
    Plastics (codes 1-6)
    Glass (lids removed) 

    Please give your recycling a quick rinse and ensure all items are placed loose in the bin.

    Individual bins for large quantities of cardboard and glass will be available at Davis Road, Cowaramup Bay Road and Poole Road.

    You can also recycle light globes, fluoro tubes and batteries! All transfer stations have special drop off boxes onsite for these items. Please keep separate from recyclables and pass directly to the gate attendant.

    Hi mheyink,

    Thanks for your question. Recycling only truly happens when there is a market for the recovered product. Plastic is one of the more difficult products to recycle because there are so many different types and qualities. Plastic is actually most commonly downcycled which means that the recovered product is of a lower quality than the original material and cannot be used in the same way. This is still a much better alternative than landfilling but our best option is to avoid using single use plastics where we can.

    The Shire's waste collection contractor Suez are currently recovering plastics 1-6 from the kerbside collection which are baled together as a mixed plastic and sold / exported to Malaysia. The plastics collected from wheelie bins in the Shire are combined with plastic from households all over Perth and the South West so they have a large volume to justify exporting the product.

    The reason only certain types of plastic are accepted at the Shire's waste facilities is because we do not get enough volume to be able to export the product ourselves. The current recycler who takes our plastic from Davis Road had specified that they will only accept drink bottles and milk containers with codes 1 and 2.

    We are currently reviewing all of our waste and recycling services and what we accept at the Shire's waste facilities will be reviewed in this process. We are working towards accepting a wider range of recyclable materials and are currently speaking with contractors on this matter.

  • Can we please have a facility in the shire where we can safely dispose of redundant Compact Fluorescent Lamps. As I understand it they all have mercury in them which is toxic. The nearest place that has the facility for disposing of these lamps is in Australind and I can't see many people driving there to dispose of them so they get put into the general waste bins. I imagine this then goes to landfill where there is the risk of groundwater contamination. As is evident in our community we all care very much about protecting our water and this seems the right thing to do. Toxfree provide a service where for a couple of hundred bucks they will provide you with a purpose designed 20kg box which we could have in the shire foyer and people could drop them in there. When you have enough to justify the trip the shire then takes them to Australind.

    steve asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your patience in awaiting a formal response.

    The Shire will have drop off containers for CFL and fluoro tubes at Davis Road Waste Facility, Cowaramup Transfer Station and Kudardup Transfer Station from next Wednesday 25 January 2017.

    All of your light globes and tubes will be accepted for recycling for no charge at these locations.

  • Has the Shire considered more of a "user pays" waste system? I'm aware that we currently pay for recycling (or not!) but what about some options for general rubbish? We, like numbers of people we know, would probably only create enough waste to fill our bin once a month or so- how about an option to have small or large bins, on a user pays basis, as so,many city councils do? IE a small bin is provided and you pay extra to get a large one?

    Still-hoping asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Still-hoping, 

    Thank you for the suggestion. 

    We are currently reviewing all of our waste and recycling services and will be looking at ways to increase diversion from landfill. User pays systems are a great incentive for residents to produce less general waste and have been quite successful in many metro councils.

    Changing waste infrastructure (such as bins) is quite costly so we will not be making any changes until a decision has been made on the future of our waste services in the Shire. We will be diving into that project early in the new year and will keep our residents updated on its progress through the Talking Rubbish Your Say page and Community Update.  

  • Can you please provide bin stickers and fridge magnets with details about what and how to recycle? Its good to know how clean the items need to be - I'm never sure and don't want to waste water. We run a BnB so its useful for our guests to see what they can recycle too. Thanks

    kb asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Kb,

    We're currently developing a waste education strategy and evaluating our waste and recycling services, once this is complete we will be developing educational material which will be made available to residents.

    Recyclables don't need to be sparkling clean, but all food should be scraped out of the containers and given a quick rinse if there is food or chemical residue inside.

    There are a few reasons why we ask you to do this,

    1. Clean recyclables stand a better chance of being recycled because too much residue or food in a bale of recycling means that the recycler may not be able to find a market for the contaminated material.

    2. The recycling facility staff, who complete the initial sort of recyclables, can enjoy a safer and healthier work environment.

    3. Having clean recyclables means your recycling bin will remain clean and the likelihood of the bin attracting insects and vermin will be reduced. Remember recyclables must be placed loose in the bin. Recyclables placed in bags and then thrown in the bin will not be recycled!

    Quick Tip to cleaning your recyclables …. keep recyclables aside until after dinner then use the left-over washing up water to quickly rinse them through. By doing this you are - Recycling - Reducing - and - Reusing - all at the same time!

  • Bunbury run 3 bins including a green waste bin. This works really well as you can add paper & cardboard that may have food scraps on them like pizza boxes or other food related boxes. Also you can add all your food scraps in here & use green waste approved bags to put them in so they don't stink out the bin. as well as nappies. This massively reduces the use for the general waste bin which would only need to be used fortnightly especially if the green waste was made mandatory.

    Lloydmichael asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Lloydmichael,

    Thank you for your comment. We are aware of the 3 bin system in Bunbury and it is something that will be considered as part of our Waste Education Strategy and review of waste and recycling services.

    A third bin for organics is an excellent way to reduce waste to landfill but there are many factors which need to be addressed before offering a new service. Implementing any new waste service will cost a significant amount of money and we need to be sure that it is the right choice for our ratepayers before we make that commitment.

    Being a small regional Shire we also have to deal with the high cost of transport and the long distances that are travelled to get the material to the organics processing plant. So although it is a great option for diversion from landfill we also need to weigh up the environmental impact of driving over an hour to empty the waste collection vehicle daily.

    Bunbury is fortunate that the processing plant for their green waste bin is located within their local government area so they do not have to travel very far to empty their trucks.

  • Why is this Council the only one that makes you pay for your own bin and charges for extra recycling bin , I have lived in four other Shire's and not one of them made you pay for their bin or charged extra for recycling bin. Regards Grahame Dobson - Augusta

    Grahame asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Grahame,

    Thanks for your question.

    Currently the Shire's recycling service isn’t mandatory and therefore residents who wish to have a kerbside fortnightly collection need to pay a subsidised one off cost for their initial bin and are charged an annual service fee.

    The annual service fee is based on the lift cost which is charged to us by our contractors. Any local government that offers a kerbside recycling collection through a contractor will have to pay for the lift cost for the bins and the supply of the bin so if it is not broken down as a separate item on your rates notice it would be included as part of the the annual rates sum.

    We are currently developing a Waste Education Strategy and one of the components of this will be to evaluate and improve resource recovery options for residents in our Shire. The way we run our kerbside recycling service is something that will be addressed in our evaluation of services and we will be looking at ways we can improve the service and encourage participation in the service.

    For the time being, residents who wish to recycle but don’t want to pay for a service can drop off their recyclables at the Shire facilities at no charge (provided they sort and separate themselves). Unfortunately, the Shire isn’t able to accept the same range of recyclables as the comingled kerbside service does.

  • Please can we have a green waste and bulk refuse collection once or twice a year? It would help alleviate the huge problem of illegal dumping in this Shire.

    Cow Bombie asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Cow Bombie,

    Thanks for your question. The cost of running a bulk collection is quite significant particularly in a regional area. Although it does provide an outlet for the disposal of unwanted items and bulk green waste and could reduce the problem it does not necessarily stop illegal dumping completely.

    As part of our Waste Education Strategy and evaluation of services we will be looking at illegal dumping and ways to discourage it within the Shire, not only in our reserves but also at charity shops and the Lions Shed.

    Provision of a bulk collection will be looked at as an option but we will also put a stong focus on raising awareness about the impact of illegal dumping on the community which will hopefully result in some behaviour change for those who are not taking responsibility for their waste.

  • Is the shire considering have 3 bins, adding a green waste bin? My parents over east do and it seems to work very well, especially for older residents who tend to spend more time gardening, yet may have trouble taking green waste to the tip.

    jasq asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Jasq,

    Thanks for your question. A few years ago the Shire looked at the possibility of implementing the 3 bin system and at this time the addition of a third bin service for green waste was ruled out. This decision was made mainly because the cost of implementing the service was quite significant and the results of a community survey on waste management showed only 28% of respondents were willing to pay for a kerbside green waste service.

    As part of our evaluation of services and the development of the Waste Education Strategy we will be revisiting the 3 bin option to see if this could be a viable option for our community in the future.

  • The Shire introduced a Recycling bin but made Ratepayers pay for it, so that we now have only a very few people doing the right thing and recycling. The rest just throw their rubbish in their normal waste bin which goes into Landfill.Has the Shire thought about solving this problem and penalising those that are not doing the right thing?

    Herbert & Mary Whittall asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Herbert and Mary,

    Thanks for your question. We are currently developing a Waste Education Strategy and one of the components of this will be to evaluate and improve resource recovery options for residents in our Shire.

    Our current system as you mentioned is opt in recycling which unfortunately does not promote the use of the recycling bin and adds extra cost to those who choose to do the right thing. This is definitely something that will be addressed in our evaluation of services and more than likely changes will be made.

    The Shire is committed to increasing the amount of waste we divert from landfill and we will be working hard to give our community the best possible resource recovery options available to us.

  • Why is recyclable waste all thrown into the one bin. Should we not have separate containers for glass/plastic/paper and cardboard, or is this not fesable?

    Mario asked over 3 years ago

    Hi Mario,

    Thanks for starting off this forum with a great question!

    In an ideal world we would all make the effort and separate all of our recyclables by material for collection as it gives us a cleaner product for the resource recovery process. Thankfully technology has prevailed and all of our recyclables that are placed in the yellow top wheelie bin go to a Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) which does all the sorting for us. Have a look at the videos section of this page where I have put a link to a video showing what happens at the Suez (formerly Perthwaste) MRF in Bibra Lake, where reclables from the Shire end up.

    Another major reason that we have co-mingled recycling is because it is easy! Everyone has busy lives and we want to make recycling simple, so that it is something you can do easily as part of your daily routine. People are more likely to participate in a recycling program when it takes less effort, so by having a co-mingled service we get more recyclables separated from the general rubbish.

    Finally by having a co-mingled recycling service collection costs are reduced because you only need one vehicle with a single compartment and one bin collected on a single run so it saves the Shire and our ratepayers money.