Managing household rubbish has long been the domain of local councils – one of the three traditional “roads, rates, rubbish” pillars of local government.
But how councils manage our waste is changing, and local government should be applauded for this change.
It represents a shift in values that recognises that much of what we throw away is not rubbish, but rather a finite resource.
First came recycling, with paper, plastics, glass and metal spared a trip to landfill to be reused to conserve our precious natural resources. Then councils recognised the value of collecting garden organics – a waste stream that was traditionally burnt in many backyards.
Now it is converted into a prized commodity, compost, which is helping sustain horticultural businesses.
The addition of food scraps to the Mt Barker Council’s green waste collection would further enhance this shift towards conserving resources.
Less food waste in landfill means less methane and other greenhouse gasses produced, reduced costs to council and less land needed for rubbish dumps.
Here’s hoping it also marks the end of our “throw-away society” and a new respect for the planet’s resources.
In autumn the oak trees in Aldgate put on a magnificent show, just like the oaks in Stirling.
The rich reds and oranges of the turning foliage contribute to the character of these leafy towns.
Therefore, it is a great shame to discover that these beautiful giants are reaching the end of their lifespans.
Last year the Adelaide Hills Council had to face the fact that the oaks in Druid Avenue are going to have to be replaced – gradually.
Now the oaks in Fenchurch Road at Aldgate are facing the same fate after one of the trees dropped two huge limbs on parked cars near the local toy library.
Locals raised concerns about the trees months ago but the tree that actually lost branches was not one of the oaks identified as being a danger.
The incident goes to show that not everything can be known about the health of a tree by looking from the outside and, in a risk-conscious society, the council cannot afford to take any chances.
With Stirling and Aldgate now looking at a replacement program for its cherished trees, the time might be ripe for assessments of other significant streetscapes in the district.