Recycling, the bane of my existence. Even this overflowing box in my garage - which I simply empty into our dumpster - is tired of my moaning about this problem.
Recycling, the bane of my existence. Even this overflowing box in my garage - which I simply empty into our dumpster - is tired of my moaning about this problem. Nicky Moffat

SOAPBOX: Recycling Gods, please don’t punish me

DEAR developer,

Thanks for not including recycling facilities in our townhouse complex. Granted, the doors at our place look like they’re made of cardboard and visitors comment on the “Bob the Builder”-style architecture, so I possibly could have seen this coming.

After moving in my partner and I realised there was just one dumpster. We now produce a bag of rubbish every day, and there are more cans and milk bottles than actual trash.

I’ve spent my adult life happily separating my paper from my tins, bottles and paper. I even clean the dog food cans so they don’t stink out the bin. Oh, the shame.

My grandma always told us ‘waste not, want not’, and I figure if we can make speed humps out of our plastic bottles instead of sending them to the tip, why not?

I’ve also been to countries where recycling is taken to a whole other level and have little sympathy for people too lazy to separate their junk.

In the Japanese city of Furano, 98% of everything residents consumed when I visited nearly 20 years ago was recycled. Local government officials knocked on the door of every residence in the entire city and explained the 19 recycling categories one-on-one with people.

It was a huge investment of resources, but Furano’s recycling plants created jobs and valuable industries were supported from the recovery of recyclable components.

To say we’re behind the times is an understatement. We should do better. Property developers should do better, and our local councils should do better.

I don’t like having a sook without offering a solution, and luckily for me I do have some hope.

I’m told my recycling drama is exactly the kind of problem hackers at the next GovHack Sunshine Coast 2016 might be able to help solve.

Using government data about who has the worst recycling facilities, perhaps the digitally skilled folks and others at GovHack will work out a solution. Okay, it’s a long shot, but I’m still going to send them the idea.

Could the new Maroochydore CBD include drop-off spots for recycling, and could an app guide me to the nearest? Could a website connect people with bins to those without?

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You can flag your problem or idea for the hackers here: http://bit.ly/28U1t94

Did I mention there’s $1000 up for grabs for the winning participant? Plus free food for the 48-hour event, which will be held at Spark Bureau on Ocean St, Maroochydore.

I’m told parents and carers are welcome at the event, which kicks off on Friday, July 29. And whether you’re tech-savvy or not, you’re welcome to go and pitch in.

For more information visit http://portal.govhack.org/locations/qld/sunshine-coast.html

PS, if you happen to live near the new Bunnings or Sunshine Cove in Maroochydore and want to share your recycling bin with me, please get in touch!

Yours faithfully, Nicky.