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Cleaning up at Council Cleanups

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by Emily Mitchell (subscribe)
I'm just a small town girl that lives life.
Published February 24th 2011
from flickr user lightsight


I'm like a kid at Christmas when it comes to council cleanups.

Every kerb is a Christmas tree, just bursting with presents and the angel on top is that everything is free! One year I was lucky enough to find a skateboard, sure it might have given me a few bruises, a broken arm and ended up back where I found it within a week but I had never had so much fun. Plus, when you're the kid at school with a cast because of a skateboarding accident you're living the life.

So you think searching through piles of someone else's rubbish sounds like more fun for your kids than you? Why not borrow some of their enthusiasm and imagination and see what DIY projects you can find. See some old dining chairs? Sand them back, paint them and chuck on a cushion – wallah, something you can be proud of. Not to mention the saving on refurbishment fees.

Council cleanups are also good for your figure. Why not combine some exercise and take a walk around your neighbourhood, to see what treasures you can find. I can guarantee that when your legs can't get you from pile to pile quick enough, there will be a discarded bike/scooter/pram that you can use. For me, cleanups aren't so much about throwing stuff out but more doing my duty and relieving other people of their burdens. It's a tough job but I'm willing to do it.

Council cleanups often mean that there are utes, vans or trucks scouring your rubbish for something they can use or sell. This often comes at an inconvenience to you so scavengers please take note:
1. Do not open tied up bags and throw the contents across the lawn - what if we have our old undies in there?
2. Do not double park in a street to heave a fridge into the back of your truck.
3. We know we have awesome things but to get in first is 3am really necessary?

Council cleanups generally happen twice a year however some councils have a phone-in service that you are entitled to up to 4 times a year. Each council is different so make sure to check out your Councils rules and start cleaning up at Council cleanups.

Useful Links:
Find Your Local Council in Victoria
Find Your Local Council in NSW
Find Your Local Council in Brisbane
Find Your Local Council in Adelaide
Find Your Local Council in Perth
Find You Local Council in Tasmania
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Why? It's time to unleash your inner child
When: Check with Local Council
Where: Your Suburb
Cost: Free
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Comments
As far as I understood, this practice is illegal.
By laura112 - reader
Tuesday, 12th of April @ 01:44 am
I'm pretty sure it's not illegal. Why would the council ban something that encourages recycling?

Can anyone else shed some light on this?
By Jon Jones - general editor
Tuesday, 12th of April @ 10:08 pm
Hi there

My partner and I were talking about this last week as I was shocked that a man was arrested for stealing from a council clean up pile. The article states "Hard rubbish became council property once it was put on a nature strip, which are technically council-owned land"
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/man-arrested-for-allegedly-stealing-vaccum-from-mooroolbark-rubbish/story-e6frf7l6-1226025965308)


By jessi207 - reader
Tuesday, 12th of April @ 10:56 pm
Hello, after a little research I did come across that "All authorised material placed out for collection is the council's responsibility. Only the council and its contractors, Pioneer Waste Management, are authorised to collect the materials." www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/My_Place/Rubbish/Council_Clean-up)

However common sense would see that if the government takes time and money to educate us about recycling etc that giving something found in a council clean up a second life is actually directly under the principles for which they stand...?

Isn't it a community expectation that something is fair game if it's on the kerb? What about those who place items on the sidewalk with a sign asking people to take it, what is the rule there?
By Emily Mitchell - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 13th of April @ 12:09 am
In Sydney I believe once anything is placed out on the kerb for a council clean up it becomes council property. I know many people who scratch out a very basic income collecting scrap metal. They drive around picking up old fridges, washing machines, water heaters, pushbikes etc. They are now fined if they are caught doing it. Believe me , the council clean ups are becoming a lucrative little money earner for councils and waste companies. So much for the little battler.
By astei - reader
Wednesday, 13th of April @ 09:10 pm
13 April 2011 - Warringah Council advised although they can't "police" it - they don't encourage scavenging as it makes such a mess. This is contrary to what they try to encourage in terms of recycling, reusing and being environmentally concerned. The mess only lasts a couple of days - why not allow people to pick up and use what the current owner no longer needs - especially if it in good shape? Boo Warringah!
By holde - reader
Thursday, 14th of April @ 12:19 pm
Yeah - it is illegal - our local paper just recently shared articles on it where someone was fined with taking the items as once on the council strip it is council property. The argument the local community made was if the council strip and everything on it is their responsibility then they should come every couple of weeks and mow the bloody thing :)
By Salty Popcorn - senior reviewer
Thursday, 14th of April @ 08:29 pm
My partner happens to be a council consultant. By having the cleanups, the council employs a number of people from the waste removal contractors, to those who sort through the recyclables on-site. So whilst the "little battler" might be missing out, remember that there are also "little battlers" earning their wage (and doing it fair and square) through this service.
By jessi207 - reader
Friday, 15th of April @ 12:31 am
"earning their wage and doing it fair and square....."

Fair & Square?!

How are they doing it any more fair and square?? If anything it's the genuine 'little battler' that you mock that is doing it fair and square! He's doing it on his own time, in his own vehicle to then be reused/recycled in his own way. Usually with a child like passion in his eye as he moves from pile to pile. As compared to a council contracted grunt that's only being paid to drive about in a council paid for air-conditioned truck trying to earn an extra few bucks for our ow so hard up local councils.

I have to beg to differ with you on this one. Whilst one is undoubtedly more igitimate, if one is to be in a position to call upon the Auzzie Battler card here, it should never be our councils!

Respectfully,
Trevor.
By Anonymous
Saturday, 11th of June @ 02:44 pm
Bar humbug. One year I was only just in time to put a few things on the pavement and I could see the truck down the road. The picked everything up and squashed it to the back of the truck with some kind of machinery. I also thougth it a neat idea. Put out the things you don't use anymore and someone who needs it takes it away or the Council looks through it and resells it. They don't. They squashed it, furniture, tables and chairs, childrens' toys, everything. Disgraceful. People should be allowed to take things this way. It makes sense, surely, less wasting, more recycling. Give everyone a break. If you're not saving anything Council, let normal Aussies go ahead. I've stopped putting stuff out because I see the truck destroy. I will much rather drive it to the Salvo's of give it away.
By Anonymous
Sunday, 31st of March @ 10:46 am
Councils do not save it and look through it. The truck squashes everything to the back of the truck once it picks it up. I saw that with my own eyes one year I was just in time to put a few things out. I was digusted. Someone else could have taken the furniture and toys home. Disgraceful.
By Anonymous
Sunday, 31st of March @ 10:50 am
New reader comment. Waiting for approval.
By No name - reader
Wednesday, 19th of August @ 01:20 am
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