Great bin re­moval in bid to cut hwy trash

WA truck­ies no­tice change

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

TRUCK­IES in WA may have to drive a lit­tle fur­ther to dump their trash now that rub­bish bins have dis­ap­peared en masse from rest stops along the Great North­ern Hwy be­tween Ku­nunurra and Broome.

The great bin re­moval, no­ticed by a num­ber of WA driv­ers, is part of the Main Roads depart­ment’s statewide lit­ter plan.

In a bid to im­prove ef­fi­cien­cies in lit­ter col­lec­tion from high­way road­side stop­ping places, the depart­ment has re­moved all 200-litre bins from park­ing bays and rest ar­eas in the Kim­ber­ley and in­stalled 2.5 cu­bic me­tre skip bins at 24-hour rest ar­eas.

The depart­ment sug­gests Main Roads pa­trol crews in the Kim­ber­ley were spend­ing a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of their time col­lect­ing lit­ter from road­side stop­ping places.

As a con­se­quence, a six-month lit­ter man­age­ment trial was un­der­taken dur­ing the 2016 tourist sea­son to gauge the ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­cien­cies of al­ter­na­tive lit­ter man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties.

The trial in­volved re­mov­ing the 200-litre ‘drum bins’ from all stop­ping places such as park­ing bays, truck bays and rest ar­eas on sec­tions of the Great North­ern Hwy from Sand­fire to Halls Creek.

They were then re­placed with larger bins, which are specif­i­cally de­signed to pre­vent spillage and ac­cess by wildlife, at lo­ca­tions gen­er­ally in the vicin­ity of 24-hour rest ar­eas along the high­way.

Sig­nage was in­stalled at all park­ing bays and pre­vi­ous lit­ter spots or dump points, the signs stress­ing com­pli­ance with lit­ter­ing laws and pro­vid­ing clear di­rec­tions to the new lit­ter dis­posal lo­ca­tions.

The trial re­sults were pos­i­tive, with less on-ground lit­ter re­ported in road­side stop­ping places and a high up­take on the use of the larger, more ef­fi­cient skip bins at dis­posal points.

Rou­tine in­spec­tions of park­ing bays and rest ar­eas noted the lit­ter in these ar­eas was min­i­mal and typ­i­cally less than when lit­ter bins were present.

Ini­tial feed­back from road users about the re­moval of the bins has been mixed, with early neg­a­tive re­ac­tion.

How­ever, as the trial pro­gressed, com­mu­nity feed­back has been pos­i­tive, par­tic­u­larly in re­gards to the push to make road users think about how they dis­pose of lit­ter.

The depart­ment has con­firmed it will mon­i­tor be­hav­iour.

“While it may be con­sid­ered de­sir­able to in­stall ad­di­tional skip bins at ad­di­tional heavy ve­hi­cle truck bays, we are also mind­ful that this may en­cour­age other road users to camp at these ded­i­cated truck bays,” a depart­ment re­sponse to one WA driver read.

PHOTO: KIRSTIN PAYNE

WHAT A WASTE: Truck­ies may have to drive fur­ther to get rid of their rub­bish, but on the plus side, rest stops are more likely to be lit­ter-free.

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