Recycling flaw costly for Cairns residents and environment
THOUSANDS of apartment dwellers in Cairns are tossing their recyclables in with other household garbage instead of using the eco-friendly service they pay hundreds of dollars for each year.
Cairns Regional Council estimates about 200 unit complexes throughout the region are not taking advantage of the fortnightly recycling collection, even though it accounts for $333.80 charged automatically to their annual rates bill.
One in five Cairns residents lives in a unit or apartment building and, in many cases, all the rubbish goes into bulk bins provided on-site.
The council has no plans to waive the $333.80 Domestic Cleansing Charge for unit owners who aren't recycling. Instead, they want more body corporate managers to add recycling bins to their complexes.
But bodies corporate insist they have tried unsuccessfully to introduce yellow-topped wheelie bins at unit blocks in the past.
SSKB Strata Managers trialled separate bins at a Woree complex of about 160 apartments, and the system was ignored.
"We trialled it for six months and it failed," SSKB community manager Mandy Sapper said.
"We put notices up explaining what was recyclable and what wasn't, we put them on the walls and on the bins, we had bright yellow lids, we separated the two kinds of bins, and even with all of that, tenants just chucked their normal rubbish into the recycling bins."
The company happily supplies recycling bins when requested by an individual unit owner but finds the majority of tenants don't bother.
The region's biggest and longest-serving body corporate company, BCS Strata Manager, says the council's recycling service is unsuitable for many unit complexes.
"It is not always practical to have one recycling bin and one general rubbish bin for each unit. In a complex of say 24 units, that would mean 48 bins," BCS marketing manager John Georgas said.
The council is adamant its kerbside recycling collection service can work for eligible unit complexes and it wants to hear from body corporate managers.
Contact the Cairns Regional Council on 4044 3044 to arrange an inspection.
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Waste: Cairns unit residents pay for recycling but do not have access to recycling bins.