Remember the tip scavengers, those scrutinizing bargain hunters that would peruse the tip or roam the streets in search of cool refuse, only needing a bit of TLC….would bring a smile to the dial of its lucky new owner. Although the tip scavenger was ridiculed by onlookers we shouldn’t forget that their “operation” was a blessed service to the community, a rubbish removal service that cost the council and us nothing, in fact, their entrepreneurial rubbish removal service actually saved us money!
This sort of free rubbish removal enterprise was one in which everyone benefited, the individual from collecting that retro teapot that he’s always wanted, the council through mitigated clean-up costs, and most importantly of all the environment, which sadly and inevitably continually cops the full brunt of our wasteful society by harboring all our waste / refuse in landfill sites. Sadly this kind of free waste management enterprise is becoming a lost art. Many of the products of past years, due to their sturdiness would last longer and hence warrant the scrutiny of numerous rubbish collectors/scavengers.
Remember the old saying “one man’s rubbish, is another man’s treasure”. Well, it’s unfortunate but this near truth is becoming less and less true. Many of the piles of rubbish seen on the side of the road today give slim pickings with regards to anything worth salvaging. Rare now are the days when you can snag yourself an old yet decent amplifier or other well-built electrical appliance. Most of the rubbish thrown out on the streets today would barely even raise the eyebrow of the discerning rubbish collector.
To make matters worse, the sheer volume of scattered debris has increased. We have all seen these often monstrous piles encroaching our thoroughfares, laneways, and parking lots, putting a massive strain on the rubbish removal services provided by local councils. In the past, a large portion of curbside rubbish would be carted away, thanks to enthusiastic bargain hunters, however, these days it seems the piles that choke our streets just keep getting bigger, and to make matters worse, opportunists see piles of rubbish as repositories for their own unwanted wares. And where does all that refuse to end up?
At landfill sites. Yes, recycling is more common nowadays, however, the fact that Landfill sites around Sydney are filling up quicker than ever before is a testament to the fact that the level of recycling operating in Sydney and Australia, in general, isn’t making a noticeable difference. Irrespective of the catastrophe our wanton attitude towards getting rid of unwanted junk has upon our beloved environment, it is also costing us dearly as members of the community?
As a member of the Canterbury / Kingsgrove municipality, I have seen our rates increase substantially from what we paid pre 2000’s. Back then rubbish removal fees were minimal since at some tips you could dump a bootload for free! Nowadays the cost of dumping rubbish at the tip is between $250 and $400 / tonne! So when I see piles of rubbish on the side of the road, I see the massive cost of clean-up which local councils, having been given the responsibility of keeping our streets clean, has no choice but to increase rates, ultimately making local citizens foot the bill.