First Steps and a Site Visit

Posted: August 9, 2010 in Uncategorized
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It has been decided that my group will do Darlinghurst- yours truly being delegated to Victoria Street. A quick site visit reveals the area to be a predominantly business street- most of them being restaurants or cafes. Interestingly, at the end of the street is St Vincent’s hospital and there are two construction sites along the area so it would add medical/health-related waste and construction waste to the equation. There are also a lot of smokers in the location so I would expect cigarette butts to be a factor in the total waste but we shall see what future findings will reveal in terms of percentage.

Walking down the street I quickly notice many different coloured bins- some green, a few blue and even the odd pink one. The bins are named for what business owns them, I suppose to try and minimise lost bins or random people using these bins.

I decided to do a quick survey about waste in the street and went to a few businesses including a florist, a wine shop, a bakery and a gelato place. The findings were:

  • Most of the waste consisted of cans, wine bottles, cardboard boxes, plastic wrappers and empty milk crates and containers. A quick visual observation in the back alleys also revealed some odd waste such as clothing, oil cans, a mattress, pillows, a broken mirror and furniture racks.
  • Regarding the bins- not everyone seems to have the same equity in terms of bin access. The florist and wine shop have one general waste bin with the recyclables are just stacked beside (the florist mentioned how the council only gave them one bin). The bakery and gelato place however has a general waste and a blue bin (which seems to be a paper/cardboard/recyclable bin). I’ve asked about the purpose of different coloured bins (such as blue and pink ones) and it seems not everyone knows the code for it and why there are sometimes red and pink bins.
  • An interesting note when I asked the gelato place owner- he mentions that there is not much food waste because his products only melt, so there is not much physical waste. He mentions how most of his waste would be cardboard boxes and plastic cups. Another intriguing note is the waste is picked up by a private collector.
  • Most of the bakery’s waste are either ‘finished products’, paper bags, big carton packets or food products. Interestingly, when it is late at night, the bread will be packed in bags and donated to a charity. There is less food safety restrictions on giving bread away as they are baked on the same day and will be consumed the next morning.

Generally it was nice to hear that two of the participants are genuinely concerned about waste management and seem interested about what they could do about the current waste management system. Truly any future research in this project will benefit the whole community and it would be interesting to see how this will all unfold.

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