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If a two bin system provides similar environmental benefits to that of a three bin system- What do you think of keeping the two bin system?

over 9 years ago

A two bin system consists of a recycling bin and a general waste bin, the same as you have now. In comparison to a three bin system, the separation of organic waste (green and food waste ) happens at a processing facility instead of at your house. The processing facility then recovers resources from the contents of the general waste bin by processing it into re-usable products including compost, metals, glass, plastics and potentially energy.

For many people, this system would be more convenient than a three bin system because for the household, nothing changes.

LMCC could develop a processing facility that provides this service convenience, while delivering similar environmental benefits to a three bin system- Would you be happy with business as usual at the household end of dealing with rubbish?

  • Gyarran over 9 years ago
    Sticking to a 2 bin system would save space at the household while allowing flexibility - we don't need to get rid of garden waste every cycle. The dilemna is the distribution of capacity between the 2 bins - our recycle bin is almost always at least 3/4 full; our general waste bin is almost always only 1/4 full - EXCEPT when we need to get rid of excess garden waste such as big branches, etc.Is it a cost effective option for LMCC to develop its own processing facilty?
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Hi Gyarran, Good question… The two systems have their own unique costs and benefits. For example, a two-bin system has higher processing costs. Instead of you sorting the different types of waste at home- it is done with technology at a processing plant, so essentially you pay for the convenience of not sorting waste at home. However, while you don't have the processing costs with a three-bin system, you do end up paying for the collection costs with more trucks on the roads, more vehicle and road maintenance, and more diesel consumption. So either way there will be changes in costs, it comes down to how you want your money spent and what type of service you want? LMCC is currently working on trying to quantify the difference of the costs.
  • Collis over 9 years ago
    The concept is good with minimial impact on the household but are we not trying to raise the communities awareness of waste, not just making it easy for them to throw away?What of the cost? A little effort at home resulting in lower LMCC cost being passed on to households would be my preference.
  • Gyarran over 9 years ago
    Sorry - just realized I misread the proposal! So it's the general waste bin that would be used for all waste except recyclables. The benefit of this proposal is that it eliminates the need to educate households re sorting; it also eliminates the need for another bin. If LMCC intend to sort the general waste bin anyway to recover any re-usable products, is this a more cost effective option? It wouldn't result in an increase in the number of bins to be emptied.The option seems to address the issue of all the other waste that is ending up in general waste, not just green garden waste.Certainly worth considering.
  • Greet a Garbo over 9 years ago
    Two bins with the mixed waste organics (food, garden and everything else) processed centrally means more $$ to process the waste to meet compost quality standards.Three bins with separated organics (either garden waste alone or mixed with food) processed centrally means more $$ to process the organics to meeting compost standards - plus - more $$ for the extra bins, trucks and labour and education.From a "convenience" point of view both options might rate the same - with the two bin option edging out three bins as we become more urban.From a "financial cost" point of view the scores would be close. Whilst 2 bins would cost more to process (mixed waste needs more processing than separated organics), 3 bins may cost more overall as it requires not only processing but $$ for bins, trucks and labour and education).From an "environmental benefit" point of view again a close score. This all depends on the rules for the use of the compost and mulch made and soldSo ... two bins it is.
  • toby1 over 9 years ago
    i can't see how this would be better than a three bin system. it is already separated in the three bin system. can a two bin system really separate green waste like grass clippings out?
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Hi Toby1,Yes, there is technology that can separate and extract a range of resources from the waste you put in your residual waste bin. Generally, organics (food, grass clippings etc) are separated from the other waste types, which can then be mulched and composted. Other resources such as metals, plastics, and glass can also be recovered. Generally, this process and technology is called AWT, known as either Alternative Waste Treatment or Alternative Waste Technology.There are many examples of where these technologies are used throughout Australia, including Port Stephens City Council and Mindarie Regional Council in Perth, Western Australia.
      • boneyblue over 9 years ago
        I see pros and cons of each - I think the community needs more awareness and should be taking on responsbility for separating waste - when I lived in Armidale we had to separate our recyclables into glass, cardboard etc. I think a separate green bin is better as it is an easy task - people obviously could tell what is greenwaste. The biggest problem I see is in recycling - lack of education and a lot of the time lack of care. I would like to see detailed education on recyclables. I have a worm farm and compost bin, but I still find the garden waste is too much.
  • Jane over 9 years ago
    After reading the other comments and some thought, I am presently in favour or the two bin system. This process would allow ALL reycables to be seperated from general waste (as some households presently do not). Eliminating all the recycables from lanfill would be a great step!
  • Green man over 9 years ago
    A two bin system consists of a recycling bin and a general waste bin would serve our purpose if the divider was removed from the recycle bin, plus we should be able to dump green waste(car load only) at dedicated drop off sites similar to the Newcastle system
  • debw over 9 years ago
    I think a 3 bin system would be good - the third bin is a good idea, because some of the green and food waste would be in plastic bags so probably wouldn't be sorted anyway. I also think the bins should all be collected every week. Our recycle bin is always fuller than our general waste bin and usually we have to put recycleables in the normal bin because at the end of the fortnight we can't fit any more in our recycle bin
  • steveeli over 9 years ago
    The 2 bin 3 compartment bin system has been working well for may years. If it aint broke dont fix it. I have concerns that the size of the waste bin may be reduced as they are in some areas in Sydney. Dont go there.
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      We don't have much choice about developing a new waste management system because our landfill at Awaba is almost full. There is also a state policy that requires us to divert more from landfill, landfill levies are increasing dramatically and we are likely to have to pay carbon pollution taxes on landfill in the future.
  • KB1 over 9 years ago
    Maybe it is a result of modern packaging or that we are more vigilant in our recycling habits, but our recycling bin is always full to overflowing every week! In the end part of our recycling goes into general waste due to lack of room. I would prefer more frequent recycling pickups especially if you reduce the size of the general waste bin. Green waste bin is a good idea - used it in other council areas, although it should be optional (extra cost), as not everyone has green waste to recycle. Not sure about the food waste going into the green waste, could be a hygiene/pest problem and what about the meat - can that go into the green waste? We compost most of our green waste anyway.
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Yes. Meat products can go into a green waste system if the processing option to manage food is selected. As far as hygeine is concerned if food waste is included in the green waste bin it would almost certainly have to be collected weekly.
      • KB1 over 9 years ago
        Looking at some of the replies from fellow residents, it is obvious that not all people need a green waste bin. This is consistent with my experience when I lived in Melbourne, where we could opt in/out and pay for the green recycling. I decided then I would go for the green waste bin and I still have it (use it as a rain water tank now!) Fortunately I have the space to compost most of my green waste in my current house, but not everyone does. I do like the suggestion of a regular visit by a large shredder. You would probably have to have it operated by professionals for safety reasons. One option I have also seen was Council leaving a skip for a week in a particular area, but this was generally abused by people not living in the street and I would not recommend it. Sharing green waste bins could also pose similar problems. Home composters? Great idea!
      • boneyblue over 9 years ago
        I agree with the recycling being picked up more frequently - we mostly put our general waste out every fortnight just because there's either nothing in it, or maybe one bag; however our recycling is always to the brim, often on a weekly basis. We don't put our recycling in the normal bin, we just have to either let it hang around until collection or sneak it in to other people's bins.
  • Peter over 9 years ago
    I personally would prefer the two bin system, my recycling bin is always over full with 3 litre milk bottles, but so is my general waste bin, I rarely have any green waste.We have a household of five and are expecting foster children, reducing the general waste bin size would cause us distress
  • Peter over 9 years ago
    Are the contents of the present divided recycling bin actually separated as it enters the waste truck? I have not had a separator for years after it was recycled itself.
  • scott over 9 years ago
    My last council had green waste and I usually managed to fill the bin once a fortnight. Moving here I have composted everything but the weed seeds/bulbs and diseased folliage which accounts for very little. I've not missed the green n waste bin and it goes to show that convenience of a green waste bin encourages bad habbits. It would be great to think that we could focus on solving the problem at it's source... the household. This will save the carbon emissions generated from the processing and redistribution of green waste and the cost of maintaining this service. The challenge is making it as convenient as a green waste bin.Has anyone calculated the carbon emmissions generated from running trucks all over the council, fortnighly, processing the waste and then redistributing it? How does this financial and environment cost compare to a little green waste in with our general waste?As I write this I have an idea... what about a special council cleanup that is for mulching green waste only .A mobile mulcher would feed the green waste into the mulcher and direct the mulch into a pile on the same naturestrip. Now you've provided waste reduction, water conservation conveniently to each door and proivded a service most can't afford... mulching thier bulk green waste. If it happened once a quarter I imagine many more of us could easily manage our bulk green waste. And here's another idea. Calculate the cost of bulk buying a bunch of home composting products such as kitchen compost bins, compost tumblers and worm farms in bulk a supply one to each home. Let home choose if they want one and which kind and allow for one each 3years or so. It may be possible to have a design that looks like a garbage bin with the same lid and a mesh base so it can sit by our other bins and would meet the disposers current psychology of disposing into a bin? Delivering these with a booklet explaining how to compost and benefits of composting with a time table of free composting workshops held at schools in each suburb (again for convenience). Surely this would be a lot less than supplying the green waste service for a year and is moving towards a more sustainable end goal. Making composing more convenient by removing the hassle of working out what systems is best shopping around for a good price and going and getting the products makes composting at home easier. Stick something on it such as... "Food scraps + garden waste IN= clean air + water savings + free fertilizer + happy environment OUT" or whatever slogan is used by council to improve awareness and motivation.
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Yes, the environmental impacts of a third collection fleet is recognised and is being included in the analysis of different waste management options. In respect of your suggestion about composting, we are currently trialling a home composting system that includes a free compost bin, a free kitchen caddy and a workshop for particpants. This trial will be accompanied by bin audits and will give us information about the effectiveness of investing in the promotion of home composting.
  • bridgewall over 9 years ago
    As we already compost using two compost bins collectors have problems already picking up two bins a 3rd., bin is not required also if a 3rd., bin had to be used there is no room for a 3rd., bin to be put out in our street as we at the moment when the present two bins have to be put out on the same day we have to put one on one side of the street and the other on opposite side of the street as there is no room to put them out together and the collectors have a hard time collecting them as is.Whatever changes do occur ,the council should keep in mind that different streets and households have different needs and that the volume of waste generated by households can vary greatly depending on the number and age of its members ,we are over seventy and there is only two of us both of which are disabled.We believe reform is important,but it is equally important to ensure that people aren't forced to use something that they don't need and have to pay for it when it is not needed and they are pensioners who can't afford any further unnecessary expense.
  • Kenyon over 9 years ago
    I am not too sure what is being proposed with the two bin system - do we throw grass and food scraps (unbagged) in one bin and everything else in with the current recycling to be sorted somewhere? This doesn't make any sense to me at all. If I have no green waste and very little food scraps (which I would be loathe to put unbagged into a plastic bin to rot on a hot summer's day), the bin is quite useless. I am happy to sort my recycling at home and I think if ratepayers wish to use a green waste bin they should be given the option and pay accordingly.
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Hi Kenyon,A two bin system proposes that for the resident- nothing changes. So in your general rubbish bin, you continue putting all your normal rubbish (everything but recyclables), into the bin. You do not have to change the way you dispose of your rubbish at all. When the bin reaches the waste treatment plant, there is a system that through a number of various processes, turns the waste into some type of reusable product such as a compost. Your recycling bin stays the same. What we are trying to determine, is what system the community would prefer. Would you rather do all the sorting of your waste at home? Or would you rather leave the bin system as it is, and leave sorting and processing of the waste to Council?
      • Kenyon over 9 years ago
        I was under the impression that everything bar food scraps was going in the recycling bin to be sorted somewhere else. But you're telling me that I still put my bag of household rubbish in the general bin, together with green waste, and someone will seperate that bag from the green waste? I'm just fine with that, but if I don't have any green waste I'm still going to pay for the sorting process anyway?? I would prefer to have the collections stay as they are with ratepayers given the option of the third bin if they wish to pay extra.
  • lamson over 9 years ago
    Most of the waste in the "green" (coloured) bins s around my neighbourhood contain vegetable matter (grass clippings, prunings etc..) I have advocated a three bin system for quite a while as most of the household waste is contained in two "plastic" bags.
  • Drewson over 9 years ago
    I guess if the separation was put back to LMCC through a processing centre there would be additional ongoing cost to council.If clients can be diligent in separating the waste then a three bin system, I would believe, would be cheaper in the long run as it would avoid ongoing running outgo.I am an advocate of recycling organic waste on your own property (worm farm, compost etc) but do acknowledge this is not to everyones liking (sotage space, disability, etc) and consequently a two bin system is adequate for my usage.
  • Caz over 9 years ago
    Are the contents of the general waste bin able to be viewed by the collectors? My reason for asking this is yesterday we had a load of mainly recyclable materials, including papers showing names/addresses/birthdates placed in our general waste bin and we were obliged to remove these articles and sort them into either waste or recyclable. This is the second time we've had other resident's rubbish put in our bins and although I don't mind as our waste bin is never full, it's annoying when we have to do the sorting.
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Hi Caz,In terms of the staff that collect your bins, they do not view or inspect the contents of the general waste bin. The only time Council will inspect the contents of the general waste bin are for the purposes of an audit. Auditing of bins occurs only when the bin is presented at the kerbside for collection and there are strict confidentiality practices around such processes. For confidentiality reasons, no house numbers are recorded and any identifiable material such as you have mentioned is disgarded and only looked at in terms of 'recyclable', or 'food' or 'non-recoverable' items.
      • Project Leader over 9 years ago
        Further to this, for safety reasons the trucks have cameras but the drivers only see the contents as they are emptied - this is to ensure dangerous items are identified such as gas bottles or large car batteries that could damage the truck or cause a safety problem for staff. Hope this helps!
      • Caz over 9 years ago
        Thanks for the reply and it seems we will need to check the contents of our waste bin before collection. What irritated me was with all the talk about identity fraud today, there was probably sufficient information in the paperwork dumped in our bin that could be used illegally. A couple of months ago we had a note on our recycling bin about a non-recyclable item found in our bin so that's another check to be done each fortnight.
  • plumsam over 9 years ago
    A 3 bin system would be our prefered option as we have a lot of vegetation and our general waste bin is inadequate to hold our general and green waste.So a 3 bin system of, general waste, recyclable and green waste is preferred, with the general waste collected weekly and the other 2 alternating week about.For us the general waste bin could be smaller,however we understand that this wouldn't suit people with a large general waste component and that have little or no green waste.Does the final decision bind as all to the same format or will it be possible for us to have our preferred 3 bins and others to have their preferred 2 bins?Also we would prefer to facilitate separation at our place thereby reducing Council's cost and we think subsequently our rates.PlumsamPlumsam
    • Project Leader over 9 years ago
      Hi Plumsam,The final decision on what bin system we choose is a while away- however, the issue you have raised seems to be an implementation issue, with residents having the choice to "opt in" to a 3rd bin for green waste. All good questions that Council will have to consider, after it has chosen a system. The first step is identifying what waste treatment system is best for Lake Macquarie and its residents. In terms of costs- waste management fees are increasing regardless of what waste system we choose due to the NSW Government Waste Levy which charges Councils by the tonne of waste disposed to landfill. This levy or tax is increasing, so LMCC needs to divert as much waste from landfill as possible- this is one of the reasons why we are considering 2 and 3 bin systems. So unfortunately, whether you sort your waste at home or leave it to Council, your waste management charges will not be discounted. It's a question of what kind of waste system you want for the money you pay... -have 3 bins, sort waste at homeor-have 2 bins, do what your doing and let Council sort waste through a special waste treatment plantThings to consider... 2 bins: a little more cost, but greater resource recovery, convenient for residents. 3 bins: more trucks on road to collect 3rd bin, a little cheaper but more work for residents at home....
  • Pheasant over 9 years ago
    I'm in the fortunate position to have used both the 2 bin and the 3 bin systems in Wyong Shire. The 3 bin wins hands down. Small (Red) general waste collected once per week with recycle (Yellow) and garden (Green) on alternate weeks. Very little in the way of general waste these days - about 1/2 a bin. 3/4 for the recycle and full for the garden on a seasonal basis.3 is a winner for me!
  • Lyn over 9 years ago
    As I live in a over 55's Complex a lot of the Residents 1. Just don't have the room to store more than 2 bins.2. They normally have their lawns mowed by someone else.3. The amount of other green waste would be nominal.
  • Scott_2 over 9 years ago
    The 3 bin system would be great. The only problem we have at the moment is that by the end of the 1 week our recycle bin is pretty much full again. I think we need to have both bins collected every week and the green waste every fortnight.
  • buffy1502 over 9 years ago
    I think we should have a green waste bin. Each week my general bin is mainly full of green waste as I have a large garden that is all native.I believe if the three bins are filled correctly by the residents it would save labour at the garbage site.Also it would help the garbage collector as my general bin is always overflowing.
  • lornabee over 9 years ago
    I would like to have only 2 bins. While I usually fill the recycle bin each 2 weeks. Some times I only have 6 inches in the weekly bin which is mainly food scraps. I regularly have geen waste which then fills my bin. I have no need for other collections. I definately would not want a green waste bin that is smaller then the weekly bin and if it has food scraps in it it must be collected weekly. Lornabee
  • LG9 over 9 years ago
    I have a family of 5, Mum, Dad, 3 kids ages 5 - 18. I believe 3 bins would be beneficial, one small bin for general waste (smaller than current size) and one bin each for cardboard/paper and one for cans/bottles. I have the benefit of using the next door neighbour's recycle bin (because it's their holiday house) and most fortnights fill both mine and their recycle bins and still have to put some recycling into the general waste bin! The current system of green waste collection works well in my area for larger green waste as I do have a compost bin, however composting for people in units/townhouses would be a problem. If I had more space for recyclables, I wouldn't need as much space for general waste which would mean some recyclables aren't going to landfill.
  • maryanne barry over 9 years ago
    You need space to put three bins and the cost to empty them as well is a factor
  • lhaskins over 9 years ago
    I would certainly be in favour of a 3 bin system. I would find the addition of an organic waste bin beneficial to assist with garden waste in particular. We find it difficult to take our garden waste away from our home via a trailer (we don't have tow bar capacity on our cars) and find ourselves storing it in bags and adding to our general waste bin whenever we can (this can often take months). For convenience and for the environmental benefits, I would support the 3 bin system.
  • eaglesmith over 9 years ago
    We have a greenwaste recycling business in the Lake Macquarie area. The two bin system works well for us and all of our many happy customers.
  • gollygirl over 9 years ago
    I'm not sure that most people would bother sorting their kitchen/food waste from general household non-recyclables. We are a family that has recently moved from NCC into LMCC area. Our recycling bin was always full each fortnight and often overflowing at various times of the year (eg. Christmas). Since moving, we have noticed we are unable to fit as much into our recycling bin as we previously could, due to the divider. Packaging, plastics and glass bottles would definitely be our biggest waste disposal, like many other families in the community. Perhaps more community education about recycling would be useful. Advertising and letterbox drops are good as most people are busy and generally aren't interested in attending workshops. The 2 bin system works well. There would be many people in the community who would rarely use a green waste bin for garden clippings and storing a 3rd bin would be an issue for many residents as well. The opportunity to drop off your green waste (garden clippings, branches) like NCC offer is very useful but very few people would use weekly or even fortnightly.
  • Earthworks over 9 years ago
    If Council is sincere in creating a waste sorting facility where all useable and valuable materials are sorted and used, this system would save extra trucks and bins being needed. This has to be a genuine undertaking though or we will be back to square 1.
  • twobinrecycler over 9 years ago
    A two bin system would suit our household as we recycle most of our organic waste using compost bins and worm farm. Having an extra bin imposed on us would be another cost and hike in rates for a service our household does not need. There is no advantage in having a three bin system if the environmental benefits are the same as a two bin system. Having the option to have a third bin would seem to me a more equitable system. This would suit most people who want a choice in their recycling. The present twice yearly system of picking up recyclables would cover the occasional excess waste such as large tree branches. A system of dropping off green waste at a number of collection points would cater for those who have the occasional excess organic waste at non-collection times would also help.