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Recycling bin changes could mean the end of the yellow bin

2 min read

THE solution to Australia’s recycling woes could lie in ditching the confusing yellow bin.

What was once hailed as a solution to our waste recycling problem and had everyone thinking they were doing the right thing has now become a bone of contention for Aussies.

Highly separate bins systems are already the norm in many countries overseas but in Australia everything goes into the one bin — and that can be a big issue.

Now environmental experts are calling for a system similar to that of Germany’s, with up to four different categories just for recycling — paper, plastic, organic and two kinds of glass for clear and coloured — to be set up here.

Jayne Paramor, deputy director of national environmental group The Boomerang Alliance said this could improve the quality of Australia’s recycling.

“It’s almost a case of going back a step,” she told The Guardian.

“We used to actually separate our paper out from our plastics and glass and tins.

“It was only about 10-15 years ago that that changed and [some councils] decided everything to go in one bin. That was when the problem started.”

How well your household’s waste is recycled will depend on your local council’s waste facility — and the problem with putting it all in the one bin means there’s potential for contamination.

Glass could smash and get embedded with paper, food could still be attached to dirty pizza boxes and leaving a lid on a bottle could hinder the whole process.

Ms Paramor said our system was restricted based on our recycling infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Ipswich City Council in Queensland became the first in Australia to decide to ditch recycling because the whole ordeal had become too expensive, highlighting the country’s recycling crisis.

Glass has been banned from all kerbside bins in Ipswich since May in an attempt to simplify the process.

They have also banned lolly bags, bread bags, cereal box liners and frozen vegetable packets from the yellow bins.

Most people don’t separate their soft plastics, which can be recycled through the REDcycle collection bins at Coles and Woolworths.

With Ipswich’s commingled bins at 52 per cent contamination, most of the them were being sent to landfill anyway.

About the same time the Federal Government made a huge commitment to eliminate landfill-found packaging in all Australian products by 2025.

Australia produces some 64 million tonnes of rubbish a year, of which 35 million tonnes is recycled.

Some four million tonnes of recyclable material is exported, and of that 1.3 million tonnes went to China.

But China has banned these imports from about 100 countries including Australia and the extra waste eradication burden threatens to bust the budgets of local councils.

The garbage which had been sent to China was about 30 per cent of our recyclable paper and 35 per cent of our recyclable plastic — around four per cent of what we recycle in total.

Earlier this year, a Senate inquiry was told Queensland ratepayers may have to foot a $50 million bill for the recycling crisis.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) surveyed the state’s 77 councils and found there was unprecedented stockpiling of recycling in the wake of China’s decision.

The waste and resource recovery industry employs 50,000 people and contributes more than $50 billion a year to the Australian economy.

The South Australian Government says its annual turnover is about $1 billion, contributing around $500 million to Gross State Product and employing 5000 people.

Ms Paramor and other environmental groups believe a new system would help Australia overcome the effects of China’s ban in the short-term. But she said cost was a big issue.

“Especially as we see money being pulled out of local councils regularly these days,” she said. “Money needs to be put behind this and leadership needs to come from the top, the Commonwealth Government.”

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Dad called a ‘paedophile’ over this photo in offensive online slur

2 min read

IT WAS one of those precious and intimate moments captured on camera between a father his and newborn bub that would be cherished forever:

Sean looking adoringly into his six-week-old baby girl’s eyes to give her a sweet little kiss on the lips just before she has a bath.

The smitten dad loved the photo so much that he put it as profile picture on Facebook to show the beautiful connection between him and his tiny little Bella.

For more stories like this visit kidspot.com.au

But shockingly, one woman in a Facebook group where Sean commented on a post was so offended by the photo that she bombarded Sean with the most inappropriate, obscene and unnecessary remarks.

“She said that he was a pedo and ‘what father kisses his daughter on the lips?’ She said she was calling DOCS (now Family and Community Services) so he can’t molest his daughter anymore — and was constantly calling him a child rapist and paedophile,” his partner Christal tells Kidspot.

“The picture has been Sean’s cover photo since that photo was taken as that is his favourite picture and he always has himself and Bella in all profile pictures so she went into his profile and screenshotted the picture and posted it saying he was a paedophile.”

THE OFFENSIVE COMMENTS REDUCED THE NEW DAD TO TEARS

In utter disbelief — Christal and Sean felt a whole whirlwind of emotions from the bizarre and hurtful comments.

“I felt angry at first, I have never had anyone call him that or even imply that and Sean was crying — so I knew he took what she was saying to heart,” she says.

“This also got me very confused — how can a father kissing his daughter at six weeks old before she got in the bath be a pedo?

“I then felt sad to think that someone would think that and it made me question if others felt the same about the photo and if I was just seeing at as beautiful when it was inappropriate to others.

“So the mum-of-one decided to share the image in a mums group to get their views and received an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

“I felt relieved and happy that the mums were on my side and that they were on the same page as me.”

However, sadly, the women admitted that many of their male partners wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing such an intimate moment on social media.

“I would never have looked at it in a negative way and as the woman who said the negative things was a mother, I wanted to see if it was seen by others as just a beautiful picture,” Christal explains.

“But I was surprised at how many mums said their partners wouldn’t share these moments due to these kind of negative reactions.

“I know many fathers that are scared of this reaction.”

It upsets Christal that fathers feel they can’t be as openly affectionate with their children in public as mothers so easily do.

“I know many fathers that are scared of this reaction — yet I don’t know any mothers who are. I feel this is why men are scared to change nappies or kiss their child in public,” she says.

“It honestly hurts to think that men won’t post pictures or do things in public because of someone assuming things to be sinister instead of what it really is.

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Australians don’t realise ambulances aren’t free

1 min read

IF YOU didn’t know ambulances weren’t free in Australia, don’t worry — you’re not alone.

New research from Finder has found that almost a third of Australians wrongly believe ambulances are totally covered by Medicare.

The findings, which came from a survey of 2085 Australians, found that 30 per cent believe ambulance costs are subsided wholly by the government.

In reality, getting an ambulance can be a costly experience if you don’t have a concession or health card.

In Australia, the cost of calling an ambulance without one of these cards differs by state.

In Queensland and Tasmania, ambulances are subsidised in full by their state governments — although these don’t fall under Medicare.

But other states they can be surprisingly costly.

In rural Victoria, it costs $1776 to call an ambulance for an emergency — and $1204 for non-rural parts. In Western Australia it costs $967.

South Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Canberra charge both a call-out fee and a per-kilometre rate.

In South Australia it’s $976 for an emergency, then $5.60 per kilometre.

In the Northern Territory, it’s $790 for a call-out, then $5.10 per kilometre.

NSW & ACT are notably cheaper — at $372 for an emergency, plus $3.35 per kilometre.

In NSW, residents who use emergency ambulance services are charged 51 per cent of the actual cost and receive a State Government subsidy of 49 per cent for the remainder.

“This research shows that many Australians think that, like other essential medical expenses, the cost of using ambulance transport is covered by Medicare. Unfortunately, this isn’t true,” said Finder Health Insurance Expert Bessie Hassan.

“Most insurance providers will offer a form of Ambulance cover but much like differences between the states, this can vary significantly between insurers.

“If you aren’t sure whether you are covered by your private health policy, it is usually listed under extras or sometimes as a stand-alone policy. It might also specify whether it is for emergency only or all ambulance use.”

The research also found it was mostly younger generations who were confused by the costs, with 47 per cent of Gen Z and a third of Gen Y believing it was free under Medicare.

Of the states who had to pay, people in New South Wales and Victoria were most confused about the costs.

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A customer was yelled at and jailed for groping waitress

0 min read

THIS is the moment a furious waitress body slammed a customer in a crowded restaurant — for grabbing her bum as he walked past.

CCTV footage shows Emelia Holden, 21, sorting through a pile of menus at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in Savannah, Georgia, when the perv gropes her on his way out, reportsthe Sun.

But brave Emelia immediately turned to grab him by the scruff of his neck — before throwing him against a wall with one arm.

She then berates him in front of other customers before telling co-workers to call the police.

The customer was hauled off in cuffs after cops reviewed CCTV footage.

Emelia said: “I just did what I felt was best. I took the guy down and had my co-workers call the police.

“As soon as the cops saw the CCTV footage, they immediately arrested the man. He sat in jail until Monday so in my opinion, he got what he deserved.

“All that I want from my experiences is for women to know that it’s OK to stand up for yourself.

“You have every right to wear what you want and you most certainly have every right to defend yourself.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

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