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The ACT Government through the LDA and TAMS has missed an opportunity by introducing ‘Smart bins’ that only deal with waste to landfill says the Conservation Council.

The Government has announced a 12 month trial of three solar-powered self-compacting rubbish bins at Campbell 5 in Campbell, Kingston Foreshore and Link Park at Wright. The bins are solar powered and fitted with compactors and can hold up to 600 litres of waste, as against the 120 litres of regular bins. The bins also have a sensor to record real-time data on the volume of waste in order to provide an alert when they need emptying.

Executive Director of the Conservation Council Larry O’Loughlin says that the Government needs to be reducing waste not looking for better ways to manage waste for landfill.

“A genuinely smart bin would allow for recycling and reuse of materials and not just collect material for our unsustainable waste mountain at Mugga Lane,” said Mr O’Loughlin.

“Doing the right thing is reducing waste and recycling: that is the best way to manage our waste problem and not by encouraging people to put everything into a compactor – solar-powered or not.”

“A key part of waste management for the ACT is to engage with the community in reducing waste not encouraging people to put more waste into bins,” said Mr O’Loughlin.

The Conservation Council is participating in consultations as part of the Government’s ACT Waste Feasibility Study to investigate options to best manage and minimise waste in the ACT and surrounding regions into the future.

“While we welcome additional improved data for future waste options, we need to know what’s in the bins so we can reduce waste and we already know what is going to our waste mountain – total waste to landfill in 2014-15 was nearly a quarter of a million tonnes”, said Mr O’Loughlin.

“Landfill such as our waste mountain does not come cheap – it destroys beautiful natural areas with a lasting toxic legacy and the ACT spent $21million in the 2015-16 Budget to provide capacity only to 2018”.

“Smart bins are a dumb idea if they only deal with waste to landfill,” said Mr O’Loughlin.


Larry O’Loughlin, Executive Director: 02 6229 3202 or 0419 266 110