Issue 9 - October 5, 2009 enews homee

Alice residents clean up their act

Rachel O'Leary

Alice Springs CDU student Rachel O'Leary

By Jason McIntosh

An Alice Springs-based student studying the benefits and costs of recycling in Alice Springs says local residents have embraced the local council’s recent cash for containers recycling scheme.

Rachel O’Leary is part way through a two-year research project at CDU and has just submitted a report to the local town council showing that nearly one-half the rubbish collected from Alice Spring’s households was recyclable and one-third of the waste was organic.

The report comes on the back of a cash for cans program recently introduced by the council and which has significantly reduced the problem of discarded drink cans in the town. The program has collected more than one million aluminium cans and 63,000 glass bottles in three weeks.

Promoting her research at a recent Eco-fair, Rachel said many Alice Springs residents were keen to support more measures to reduce their waste.

“Many residents, especially those from interstate, are keen to separate their rubbish into separate bins and would like to see a bulk-goods pick-up service twice a year,” she said. “A community reuse centre also had a lot of support.”

She commended recent council initiatives to recycle drink containers and to secure Territory funding for a glass crusher to be based at Alice Springs.

“It’s great that the council is looking at local uses for recycled material, but there is still a lot to be done to improve recycling collection services. It has to be easy for people to recycle.”

Rachel’s two-year research program is looking at the costs and benefits of waste minimisation options for Alice Springs. Her next undertaking is to study the waste generated by the tourism sector.