This story will be a load of rubbish – a cheap and environmentally friendly load of rubbish, though, writes Alex Brooks for Sydney Morning Herald.
Have you seen the mess a renovation creates? Dust, rubble, broken tiles and even kitchen sinks. The easiest way to get rid of the mess is a skip bin. The big metal bin arrives on the back of a truck and then the neighbours chuck all their rubbish in it when you’re not looking.
Then you discover the bin isn’t big enough, and you need to order another one when you should have been smart enough to work out that hiring the bigger one in the first place was way cheaper than two smaller bins. Renovators always learn the hard way.
Skip bins are the most convenient way to remove large amounts of rubbish, but not all skips – or waste removal practices – are created equal.
Dump It Bins’ Matt Calleija says prices for skip bins and rubbish removal vary widely across Sydney, with some operators charging three times less than others.
Levies and council policies have increased the cost of rubbish removal to encourage better recycling and waste management. “Anyone who hired a skip last year will be paying more money for it this year,” Calleija says.
Micron Constructions’ Michael Dolly says he estimates waste removal costs one per cent of the entire building cost. “A $100,000 renovation would cost $1000 for rubbish removal and $200,000 would cost $2000,” he says.
WSN Environmental Solutions – which used to be Waste Service NSW but is now a state-owned corporation that runs many of Sydney’s tips – doesn’t apologise for the increased charges, as they are designed to create more efficient waste management practices.
WSN marketing and communications manager Catherine Johnson says it is cheaper and often more environmentally friendly to separate renovation waste yourself rather than jumble it all into a skip bin or trailer and tip it into landfill.
These days, some construction rubbish is recycled – roof tiles become aggregate for landscaping, old windows are turned into insulation batts and bricks and concrete are also crushed and re-used.
Local councils now force renovators and builders to reduce the amount of rubbish they create by forcing them to adopt “waste management plans” as a condition of any building approvals.