Freo in Perth’s top five best recyclers

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, East Fremantle Mayor Jim O’Neill and Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey with Local Government Minister David Templeman at the Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale.

The City of Fremantle has ranked in the top five of Perth’s best recyclers in new data released by the state government.

For the first time, waste and recycling data is available on the MyCouncil website to encourage improved waste management performance among local councils.

Fremantle came in fifth on the list of the metro area’s best recyclers, with 54 per cent of household waste diverted from landfill.

The overall diversion rate covers all household waste, including the materials collected from household bins and verge collections. 

The Town of East Fremantle topped the list with 61 per cent, while the City of Melville was third with 60 per cent.

All three councils are members of the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council and send their waste to the state-of-the-art Regional Resource Recovery Centre in Canning Vale.

Coming in the top five for diverting waste from landfill was a great result but it is just the start.

As a One Planet council we have a target of achieving a 70 per cent community recycling rate by 2020, so while ranking in the top five is a terrific outcome there’s still room for improvement.

Later this year we’ll be rolling out the new Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) three-bin waste management system, which will see food scraps and garden waste recycled to produce high quality compost.

The introduction of FOGO will see our overall waste diversion rate improve even further, which will mean less landfill and reduced processing costs.”

The state government’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030, launched earlier this year, has a target for all local governments in the Perth and Peel region to move to a three-bin FOGO system by 2025.

As well as the introduction of FOGO the City of Fremantle has a range other initiatives to boost recycling rates, like the new Reuse Shop at the Fremantle Recycling Centre, recycling roadshows and subsidies for compost bins and worm farms.

To find out more about FOGO and the City of Fremantle’s recycling services visit the Waste and Recycling page on the City’s website.

Here’s how Today Tonight covered it:


Can we build our way to Sustainability? Talking from off-grid to zero carbon and zero water

This coming Tuesday evening at Ronnie Nights in Freo I will be talking to sustainable house legend Michael Mobbs and Josh Byrne & Associates, Mark Taylor about the role that buildings can play in addressing the climate challenge.

Pop on down. It is free.

Politics in the Pub: “Can we have energy that is cheap, reliable and clean?”

This Monday (25th of March at 7pm) the Fremantle Network invites you to discuss Energy Policy, and the question “Can we have energy that is cheap, reliable and clean?”

Our guest speakers are:

Josh Wilson, ALP Member for Fremantle
Jesse Hutchinson, Greens Candidate for Fremantle
Nicole Robins, Liberal Candidate for Fremantle (TBC)
plus Bill Hare, the co-founder and CEO of Climate Analytics

Energy has been a very contentious political issue in recent years, impacting elections and political leadership.

The Liberals, Labor and Greens are taking very different federal energy policies to the forthcoming election. Meanwhile there is growing consensus and concern about globally warming.

So what is the best solution?

Can our energy be provided in a way that is cheap and reliable and clean?

As well as enjoying the debate, we also invite you to enjoy the conviviality of the pub experience at The Local Hotel, 282 South Terrace. We start at 7pm, but as always we encourage you to arrive early for food, drink and conversation.

Politics in the Pub regulars – please note that on this occasion the date is Monday 25 March. Normal Tuesday service will resume from April onwards.

From Fibro to Fabulous: Sanctuary Magazine features Freo

There are lots of good reasons to fix up and adapt rather than build new so I was pleased to see the latest issue of Sanctuary (a magazine dedicated to modern green homes) this issue focus on retrofitting our housing.

Over the years I have collected interesting stats like:

  • The demolition of one small old building will negate the environmental benefits of recycling 1,344,000 aluminium cans due to the embodied energy that is lost.
  • …the energy embodied in the existing building stock in Australia is equivalent to ten years of the total energy consumption for the entire country
  • The energy inherent in the material and construction of “a typical Victorian period house contains energy equivalent to 15,000 litres of petrol which is enough to send a car round the world five times, or half way the distance to the moon”

Despite this old fibro houses that we have plenty of around Freo often aren’t seen as worthy of retrofitting. This issue of Sanctuary makes the case as to why you should including taking as one of its many interesting case studies our humble fibro abode in White Gum Valley.

It’s, as they say, available at all good newsagents and bookstores.

Trash and treasure at new Freo Recycling Centre Reuse Shop

There are bargains galore to be found at the new Reuse Shop at the City of Fremantle’s recycling centre.

The Reuse Shop has a wide range of goods for sale – including furniture, camping gear, surf boards, gardening equipment, toys, books, DVDs and musical instruments.

They’re all unwanted items that Fremantle residents dropped off in the bulk waste area of the recycling centre.

Recycling centre officers go through the bulk waste during the week to separate and recover as much material as possible, select items that are still in good working order and clean them up for sale.

The City of Fremantle’s Resource Recovery Team Leader Conor Boyle said many of the items sold in the Reuse Shop would normally end up in landfill.

“As part of our One Planet Strategy we endorse the waste hierarchy of avoidance, reduce, reuse and recycle,” Mr Boyle said.

“We’re focused on diverting as much as possible from landfill and creating a sustainable recycling centre, so the opening of the Reuse Shop moves us closer to closing the loop on residents’ waste.

“All money raised through the shop is used to offset the cost of recycling and landfilling.”

Mr Boyle said there have been all sorts of weird and wonderful items to come through the recycling centre, including a mould for a giant foot.

“It lived at the centre for a few months until a resident took it to reuse as a bird bath in her garden,” Mr Boyle said.

“Also, for such a hot and dry part of Australia, it’s surprising how many snow boards come through.”

The City of Fremantle Recycling Centre, opposite the golf course on Montreal Street, is open on Fridays from noon-4pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am-4pm.

The Reuse Shop is open from 8am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Only residents of the City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle can drop off recycling at the centre, but the Reuse Shop is open to everyone.

For more information visit the Fremantle Recycling Centre page on the City’s website.

Today Tonight on world first solar sharing trial in Freo

This Today Tonight episode is a good summary of the world first solar sharing trial happening right here in Freo …

Also, here is the Ministerial Announcement on this imprtant project:


Are trackless trams the future transport solution for Fremantle?

Recently City of Fremantle staff, Councillors, and representative from the State Government met with a Chinese delegation who are building a new generation of trackless trams or ART

There has long been a debate between the merits of trams/light rail (LRT) vs rapid bus (BRT).

Personally I have always been a strong LRT advocate as global evidence is that it has led to higher ridership and encouraged better land uses and urban development along the transit routes.

But this emerging trackless trams/ART technology has the potential to offer the best of both worlds.

Prof Peter Newman has articulated this well in his article in The Conversation that came out this week:

While there is some way to go in being confident that trackless trams/ART can offer all the benefits of LRT, it is a technology that may create the breakthrough that is needed in providing a proper second tier, fixed route public transport service.

A route where this technology may be a good fit is along South Street – linking Fremantle with Murdoch University and Hospital. This would enable major trackless trams stops at Kardinya, Samson, Hilton and Heart of Beaconsfield.

At around 10% of the cost of LRT, it may be a project where we can get State Government support for funding in a way that was looking challenging with LRT.

As the Fremantle Council has advocated for many years as part of Freo2029, better transport links to the south and east of Fremantle are essential to our future. Frankly, rapid bus transit was never going to cut it if we wanted a substantial increase in patronage and quality urban development along these routes.

LRT was definitely the best option but maybe, just maybe, there is a new, cheaper option that can be realized a whole lot quicker.