Off the verge

Friday 14th of November 2014

Normally we at Earth Carers HQ are pretty happy chappies…but verge collection times are an exception. It’s hard not to feel downcast passing by perfectly serviceable furniture, timber, recyclable cardboard and electronics - all dumped on the verge, awaiting their (mostly landfill) fate.

Image of bulk waste

It makes us sad. (And a bit mad).

When we shop we buy our waste, but verge collections make visible the lack of thought in considering the responsible end of life cycle for a product. 

E-waste on the verge

And while we’re on the topic…

  • Why is it that so many will drive miles to purchase the newest piece of technology…but resent going a few kilometres to a transfer station to recycle the old technology? Instead, it’s left for verge collection. And most of the time, verge waste goes to landfill.
  • Why do people pay thousands for a renovation – yet many question why they have to pay for waste disposal and criticise councils for not including building waste as a council service?
  • Bulk waste volumes are increasing in many councils across Perth. Why should we expect councils (rather than the individual) to be responsible for their ratepayer’s decisions to consume and waste so much?
  • Why aren’t we more concerned (read outraged) about the overwhelming mass of stuff we see on the verge (so much of which could be recycled or reused) – and realise that we are all paying for this – not just financially, but also environmentally?
  • What if we didn’t have verge collections…would that force us to be more accountable about what we throw out so recklessly and effortlessly? Plenty of countries have already gone this way.

It’s time for us to re-think verge collections. They are resources wasted, a representation of a society gone lax and unimaginative. A consumerist nightmare.  It’s all too easy to blame councils for our waste problems.Yet we are the ones who put out the waste. We are all accountable.

by Gabrielle

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