Apartment Dwellers Going Green

Residents of two Burnside apartment buildings are undertaking a trial of organics collection with bins borrowed from Council.

Traditionally, many apartment residents have been unable to compost their food scraps, due to a lack of onsite bins for collecting organics. The typical three-bin service has been offered to apartment buildings, however due to space limitations and specialised service needs, it is common for apartment buildings to have their own commercial waste services.

Because residents in apartment buildings pay Council rates but do not receive the three-bin service, they have effectively been cross-subsidising the cost of waste services for other residents. To balance this inequity, Council will be providing a financial contribution to the cost of waste management in eligible apartment buildings. Council is also promoting the collection of organic waste.

Newer apartment blocks, such as those in Cedar Woods at Glenside, have been constructed with an innovative organic waste system in place. But these systems are not in place at Air Apartments and Queen Victoria Apartments. So Council is supporting building managers to instigate the collection of organic waste. Council has provided trial kerbside organic bins, plus kitchen caddies and compostable bags, educational materials and new signage.

Queen Victoria Apartments resident Robert Mackay says the initiative is a welcome change after years of only being able to deposit food waste to landfill. “The kitchen caddy makes us more aware of vegetable waste,” he says. “When preparing a meal the green waste goes straight into the caddy. You also realise how much green waste you are throwing out. You start to feel good that you are doing something for the environment.”

Resident Chris Halbert says it ticks all the boxes. “In this world we need to be doing this (waste disposal) better. I am committed to doing what I can for our environment. Burnside made it so easy.”

From an environmental and financial perspective, it is far better to compost food waste, than to send it to landfill. It costs around five times more to send material to landfill, so ensuring food waste is collected as organic waste is a great way to keep pressure off Council rates.

L - R: Residents of Queen Victoria Apartments Robert Mackay, Glenda Brindle and Chris Halbert with their new kitchen caddies.

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