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October 9, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Dinner On The Flat Card?

Is the Council trying to rip us off by making us buy yellow council rubbish bags? I mean, why should we have to pay $1.80 for every bag of rubbish we produce? Should we strike and make rubbish angels like Homer J. Simpson? Or Recycle? … What’s that? …You don’t want to be known as a dirty hippy trying to save the world? Think you might have to attend secret meetings where you sit around a camp fire, smoke way too much weed, and chant about how we are all beautiful?

Just by buying one yellow council bag a week instead of three will save you approximately $200 over the year. Enough for you and your three flatmates to go to dinner at the Downtown Local, buy four jugs each and still have money to pay for the taxi ride home, all on the flat-card. If buying three-four rubbish bags a week is for you, go for it! But if you would rather save money by putting in three minutes more effort a week, a world of savings exists at your finger tips.

In New Zealand we produce 3.6 million tonnes of rubbish a year, which would fill Westpac Stadium six times over. But the concern is that 65% of our ‘waste’ can be recycled. Recycling is a very energy efficient way of reproducing goods that we use everyday. Take for instance aluminium cans. These babies hold the precious beer, coke and other soft drinks that the vast majority of students here at Vic consume. In the United States over the last 15 years seven million tonnes of aluminium cans have been wasted, which, as a metal, is worth approximately US $7 billion, and is enough aluminium to build 300,000 Boeing 737 aeroplanes.

It’s all well and good to know these startling numbers, but what’s the point in knowing them if you don’t know what you can and cannot recycle.

It’s Saturday night – your 21st, speeches have gone and you’ve been proper embarrassed in front of your whole family. You’ve unsuccessfully tried to complete your yardie, your partner is wearing what you didn’t finish, and magically, it’s Sunday afternoon and you wake up in the lounge surrounded by the smell of spew, beer and pizza. Yum-o. Not only do you have the worst hangover but it’s your turn to clean the flat.

You’ve spent all your money on your par-tay, and because this is an article on recycling, recycling is going to save your pocket. Think back to how much you spent – the Double Browns, the country medium white, the pizza, condoms, stripper, your mum’s taxi home – almost all of this is recyclable.

The clean cans can be crushed down, the pizza boxes can be bundled up, the clean condom boxes go with the pizza boxes, the stripper should be taken back, get a refund from your mum, and the country medium white (without the bladder) can also be bundled up.

However there are some things you can’t put in your little green bin. The aluminium from your neighbours roof (please return), the chimney from Carrington St should be returned back to the front lawn, the glass from the light-bulb that you smashed while attempting the Napoleon Dynamite boogie should be wrapped in paper and put into your yellow council rubbish bag, the glass bottles that just “fell out of your hands” against the neighbours wall also need to be wrapped as the light-bulb was.

What is the point of recycling, other than to save you money?

For every tonne of paper that is recycled 13 trees are saved. This means that compared to producing the equivalent amount from wood pulp. 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution.

For every tonne of aluminium recycled 13,300kWh of electricity is saved, this means for every aluminium can recycled you save enough energy to run your TV for 3 hours.

If you put what you can recycle into those ‘handy’ yellow council rubbish bins here is how long it takes for it to decompose at the dump:

Paper: 2.5 months. Plastic bag: 10-20 years Tin can: 100 years. Beer Can: 200- 500 years.

USE YOUR GREEN BIN, where do you intend for your children to live if we can’t look after our world? What we do today makes a difference; our world can not take much more of our waste.

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