Fremantle Rubbish and its Waste

jet polution

Last year our mayor flew to Japan with entourage to look at incinerators to burn rubbish.

After the rubbish junket there was also a meeting at the council building to hear all the proposals on about our fab new save the environment rubbish incinerator. That was the last I’ve heard of it.

Till now I have not heard anything from council on our new system or timeline. Put into that Brad told us we were getting a 3 bin system as well, some trial I have not heard any more on this either,

Each week you put out two bins:

  • The organics bin (lime green bin) is the main service and is collected weekly.
  • Rubbish bins (red or dark green lid) are collected fortnightly on the opposite week to recycling.
  • Recycling bins (yellow lid) are collected fortnightly on the opposite week to rubbish.

Well that’s how it works in other suburbs

So as a city we invested in time, flights, hotels, general expenses to look at a system we have no real plans to implement, I hope I’m wrong, otherwise just another waste of rate payer funds. I’m sure the sushi was good but any info you needed to get on this system was surely online.

I don’t know if Tokyo is a good place to view such a system as its input of rubbish would not be comparable to a country like Australia as the amount and type of rubbish we generate is different in both type and volume.

Currently I have bugger all in my green lid when it is collected weekly unless it’s a lot of garden rubbish I can’t put in my compost. So council sends a truck to my house each week to collect bugger all, if you are recycling correctly I don’t see how you can have that much rubbish for the green bin.

The Facebook link to see how our supposed green council runs its rubbish system. Interesting reading see the impact our rubbish has on others.

Facebook link 2

Strange also that a council that wants to ban plastic bags, to save the environment has another issue with its SMRC compost. Which I believe still has a problem being full of shards of plastic and glass through the compost, due to separation issues. So while we are banning plastic bags on one hand on the other it looks like COF are paying someone to spread little bits of plastic all over our environment? The spin just goes on and on. Further due to the fact we pay SMRC to take rubbish excess or waste is another thing we the rate payers fund. I’m sure compost full of glass and plastic does not get a good return, so that loss of revenue is an increase in cost to us the rate payers.

It’s reported that Brad wants the state government to take over waste management, so why was it necessary to go Japan for something he wants the State Government to run. As the council were not investing, building, or running this new incinerator I wonder why a trips to Japan was necessary at all, as all the city will really do is tell the truck drivers to go to different address. I wonder how many trip our councillors take on our behalf and what we spend on such trips over the years? What does the rate payer actually get out of it. Considering their concern for the environment and the impact we have on it, I wonder if they factor in the carbon impact with the flights they use?

I read an interesting site a while back which got me thinking what happen to all talk at council about our new garbage system. No burn, it had an interesting heading, Incineration is not sustainable.  A quote from the site,

“In Brescia, Italy, they spent about $400,000,000 building an incinerator and have created just 80 full-time jobs. While Nova Scotia, a province of Canada, after rejecting an incinerator, has created over 3000 jobs in the handling of the discarded resources and in the industries using these secondary materials.

For every four tons of trash burned you get at least one ton of ash: 90% is called bottom ash (that is the ash collected under the furnace) and 10% is the very toxic fly ash.”

So strange our Mayor a sustainability educator would choose burning rubbish over recycling it or more importantly working to lower the amount we waste in the first place? I guess another trip to Japan will be needed, to see how the Japanese produce far less waste per person than we do? Then there is the issue of nano toxicology, these wonderful incinerators produce nano particles, smaller than a micron, which can cross lung membrane and enter our blood stream, that doesn’t sound very sustainable.

Why push for a system that’s bad for jobs, has a negative impact on our environment(dioxins), the only ones I see benefiting is the company that builds and operates the incinerator and its investors, so good for big business and large corporations, plus the ones who fly around looking at them.

This is a better direction than burning it, what i would sustainable. Only thing this takes real effort not spin and media bites.


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  1. Roel Loopers says:

    State Government announced last week to build a new technology incinerator at East Kwinana that is supposed to take the rubbish from many councils, including Fremantle.


  2. The cost per tonne of waste going to the SMRC is $100 more than using the Waste-2-Energy system that Phoenix Energy is building. Similar plants are in operation all over the world and Japan reportedly has numerous plants in operation. Its a proven system.

    I’m not sure if you’ve been out to the SMRC, but most of the recycling is mechanised with paper, aluminium and glass being the main products that get picked up in bails from the end of the sorting machine. The labour cost to man handle the separation would drive the rates up even further. I’m concerned the rates are being driven up constantly by Brad Pettitt and I don’t want to see any more hare brained scemes of his which frankly dont work and are nothing more that experiments in sustainability more than anything else..

    The facility will be built. It has all the approvals in place and the waste stream from several municipal councils from what I understand. The Mayor took advantage of the free flights and accommodation, in full knowledge that he wasn’t going to approve the City of Fremantle sale of waste. He may have stated that it was good before he flew to Japan, but he isnt supporting the proposal now. I don’t think he ever believed in it. He is a former WA State Green candidate, and Dean of Sustainability after all.

    The dioxin argument is more scaremongering than fact and is driven by a small group of Greens supporters. There are other arguments which state that the fireworks on Australia day produced more dioxins in 30 minutes that the W2E plant will in 4 years of operation.

    The State Government mandate is to reduce and stop landfill. As you have correctly stated, the waste from the SMRC, besides the odor issues, that gets composted, largely is then taken to the tip as landfill because of the glass fragments in it. This means we are effectively paying twice to get rid of the rubbish.

    I’m more shocked than surprised that the Mayor of Fremantle wants to offload one of the 3 core functions of local government back to the State Government. Picking and choosing your required function of government isn’t going to happen and he needs to start delivering some savings for ratepayers, rather than shirking his responsibilities of office.

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