On the Verge of Debating Rubbish (of the Bulk Kind)

There has been some interesting debate recently on what kind of bulk rubbish service the City of Fremantle should offer.

The last couple of years we trialled two verge pickups a year but this got mixed feedback. The main criticisms we got was that it was making some suburban streets look like a tip for too much of the year and that there was limited options for recycling the junk was put out as it was all been compacted in the back of truck and sent to landfill.

So this year we are trialling going back to one pickup but having more drop off days at the Fremantle depot on Montreal Street so more of the materials can be can be recycled.

Previously in addition to the bulk bins days residents could drop off to the depot each weekend the following:

  1. Metal.

2.Car Batteries.


4.Electronic-Waste such as TVs etc.





9.Mixed Recycling.


We are now seriously  looking at expanding not only the days and times you can drop off but also what you can drop off:

1.More capacity for Metal and Batteries .

2.More capacity for Clothes and Electronic-Waste

3.Introduction of Hazardous house hold waste.

4.Introduction of green drop-off.

5.Introduction of mulch pick-up.

6.Introduction of rubble drop-off.

7.Introduction of mattress drop-off.

8. Introduction of bulk junk drop-off every weekend.

The Fremantle Council have not made any final decisions on this as we are still getting it costed up and details worked out.

But what the we would be interested in getting your feedback on is would this expanded drop-off  service in addition to a bulk verge pick once a year and several green waste pickups be a better service than just the two bulk verge pickups we trialled the last couple of years?

After debating the different options it is pretty clear there is no perfect solution to dealing with bulk rubbish. All options have pros and cons in terms of ease of use, recycling rates, and how they make our suburbs look. But I do think with the right mix of services Fremantle can continue to be a leader in recycling whilst having less junk on our verges.

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

32 Responses to On the Verge of Debating Rubbish (of the Bulk Kind)

  1. i think there needs to be a change of attitude from all parties about what the verge collections are.Maybe its outdated language that needs reframing…..like “pass it forward ” or something !

  2. Bev says:

    Just use Cockburn Council as your model. The weekly recycling pickup is awesome and the verge pickup doesn’t get messy if it’s collected on the rostered week. I miss living there.

  3. Madison says:

    I find the bulk rubbish pick ups to be the most useful as unfortunately I just don’t have the transportation means to move good from my house to the depot. I have heard of a model in some eastern states councils where by instead of having organised bulk rubbish collections, residents are able to call their council to have items collected, the council issues that resident with stickers to place on the items they want collected so that these items can be easily identified, and then at some point, the council can then collect them. I think this model could be great in the Fremantle council as it removes the issue that some people have with large amounts of rubbish that accumulate during the scheduled collections, but still allows the items to potentially be recycled and keeping the service accessible to those with out the means to transport the items.

  4. Khristine Ryan says:

    As a verge collector / recycler I would be sad to see furniture going to the tip when it could have been reused by another resident. A massive amount of bulk ‘ rubbish’ is collected by enthusiasts and recycled for themselves, through donation, restoration, online and garage sales. There are many collectors who rely on the few extra dollars they get doing this. .. I have personally saved perfectly good items as the truck came down the street and subsequently given the item to someone in need.
    A recent poll on the Freo Massive fb page indicted a high level of positive feedback for verge collections given the huge percentage of recycling that goes on. Many do not like mess but it didn’t outweigh their keenness to see items reused.
    How can Depot collection allow recycling of perfectly good house and garden items?

  5. Matt says:

    How would you like to obtain the feedback? By leaving a Reply, or via other private means? Thanks

    • Matt.
      Happy for you to post it here or email it to me Mayor@fremantle.wa.gov.au

      • Matt says:

        Thank you.
        It is great that the council considers to provide more drop off facilities. In particular rubble, sand and green waste would be great given there is no tip. Same for batteries and oil. I would be keen to hire a trailer to be able to drop off some sand and rubble from the backyard. Or maybe start an agreement with Cockburn to share their tip.

        I think one bulk collection per year is sufficient to encourage people to have less waste.

        I also think our green weekly rubbish bins are too big. 15 years ago I lived in Melbourne and the council there had bins half the size to discourage wasting and encourage more thoughtful shopping, ie. buy less waste and less packaging. It would be great to have separate recycling bins that deal with paper, plastic and organic rubbish.

        The City of Baywater seems to have a good waste collection arrangement: http://www.bayswater.wa.gov.au/environment/waste-and-recycling. Although their bins are too big also.
        Does there exist a plan to do similar in Freo?

        Thanks for the opportunity to comment.


      • thanks Matt.
        That is useful. Interestingly North Freo has small green bins.
        We (along with other SW councils) are looking at going to three bins too. Which would have a small rubbish bin as you suggest

  6. Jeni Alford says:

    It is fantastic you are encouraging more recycling but I do have one query. My little sister runs a one person signwriting shop in Forsythe St but there is no recycling bin provided. Could you please consider this for all those small businesses who in some cases are doing it tough?
    Kind regards
    Jeni Alford

  7. Andrew.L says:

    Tip Passes would be nice. The Rockingham and Cockburn tips recycle and sell all useful items. Their ratepayers get up to 6 tip passes per year.

    • Andrew
      Would depot be just as useful if you could drop off similar things?
      cheers, Brad

      • Serena Williams says:

        Depot would be more useful if we can drop off similar things to tip – its closer! but i agree with Andrew L that a ‘tip shop’ of some kind would be great, especially if a local / social enterprise wanted to run it…

      • Andrew.L says:

        I have used the current Freo depot many times for the recycle items which is a good service. Not sure how it would handle large volumes of other material. Suggest you arrange a visit to inspect the tip in Rockingham and you will see what I mean. Would be good to take a trailer load of combined rubbish to kill two birds and all that. Rockingham have a very modern efficient waste recycle system out there. Thanks for your interest.

  8. Nayeem Satar says:

    More green waste pickups or ability to do green waste drops at Knutsford would be great. Don’t let people get away with verge dumping when there is no pickup scheduled, it’s out of control here in Hilton – issue warnings even if it’s near impossible for you to fine people! It will discourage the practice

    Mulch pickups would be great too, people could also opt in to get green waste mulch placed on their verge, saves transporting a full truck around the suburbs if they can dump it as they mulch without returning to the depot / tip

    Long term the three bin approach worked great when I lived in Mt Lawley

    Great to see this issue on the agenda

    • Khristine Ryan says:

      Unfortunately the delay in a decision on timing of verge collections had meant some people have expected the January one and stayed putting items out. I only found out very recently that there wasn’t one planned for the first half of the year and have stored up items for collection. It would have been helpful if the council had informed rate payers earlier.

  9. Pingback: Should we scrap verge rubbish pick-ups? – Oz Bush Telegraph Online

  10. Penny Drop says:

    I am not a resident I live in Melbourne. Where I live we no longer have a set collection day. All residents are allowed two free hard rubbish pick ups per year and they book it in as required and this works very well. Check out http://www.hardrubbishmelbourne.com.au/book-your-hard-rubbish-collection/. Also Canberra used to have second hand sunday which was brilliant. Along with a recycle shop.

  11. Pingback: Should we scrap verge rubbish pick-ups? - News For Australia

  12. Wilbur says:

    If you don’t have options, you will have fly tipping in quiet dead end streets and vacant blocks. It’s up to the council to get the settings right. I don’t have a trailer or ute. How am I going to get to the councils’ depot. WRT unsightly verge collections, it’s up to the council to clean them up asap the collection date. If people put their rubbish out a month in advance just fine them using the usual council by-law provisons

  13. Todd says:

    City of Belmont residents have always been entitled to four free 3 cubic meter skip bins for general household material each year dropped on your verge for a couple of days .

    If you need a green waste contact to arrange etc , you can also swap one only bin entitlement for a tip pass allowing one 6×4 trailer worth , see city of Belmont website , waste and bin services , bulk bins for further info.

    This rubbish piled on everyone’s verge is a disgrace , people sorting through it at all times of day and night spreading it , tearing bags open allowing things to blow onto the road and down the street etc .

    Having a skip type bin on your verge for a few days the answer !

    unfortunately In some cases you need to have your rubbish items together / prepared so as soon as the bin is delivered you fill it or undesirable neighbors can fill it for you ! before you have the chance .

  14. Khristine Ryan says:

    Another comment around verge collection, I’ve just seen the green waste schedule and noticed that the first open depot date for hard rubbish is in July !
    Is this the ‘more regular’ depot dates we’re being offered? because after expecting a January collection, that’s a long time to wait!

  15. timothy Ireland says:

    Dear Brad,
    thanks for this initiative.
    I – and many friends for whom this has been a talking point of late – were perfectly happy with the existing arrangement. The idea of more days at the depot when a wider range of things can be recycled is nice in theory, but fails on at least two practical counts: the first is that anyone who doesn’t own (or get easy access to) a ute or a trailer (the majority) can’t physically move their stuff to the depot. The other is time. The outstanding benefit of verge collection is that it achieves fantastic physical efficiency – rather than asking a thousand housholders to all first schedule time, and then invest their free time in moving stuff to a depot, you have a small number of staff and some appropriate vehicles doing the heavy lifting in that regard. I’ve long expected that this kind of service provision is why our annual council rates here exceed my mother-in-law’s state pension in Europe.
    While I agree that more recycling is generally a worthy goal, I strongly second the commenter above in drawing attention to just how much ad hoc recycling is achieved by people on their own during verge collection times, and I’d go as far as to say that this has become some curious and pleasantly humble part of our modern culture. I would encourage you and the council to ensure you serve the majority rather than specific interest groups, and please don’t relieve us of any more of the social norms that make Australia the relaxed, communal, friendly place we imagine it to be,
    Regards, Tim

  16. Khristine Ryan says:

    Tim makes a very good argument regarding sheer person hours and effort required by all residents having to deliver to the depot. And it’s not just lack of an appropriate vehicle, what about the many elderly or otherwise infirm who might manage to trolly an item to the verge but could never lift the same into a vehicle?

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