Media and News

Recycled Roads

A new project in the north of Melbourne has managed to successfully recycle plastic bags, printer cartridges and glass bottles into a viable road surface. Not only is the road surface on-par with competitive road surfacing prices, but tests to date indicate that it is more flexible, durable and longer lasting than traditional road surfaces. The initiative could be the next step toward solving the Chinese recycling crisis. If it is successful it could ease the building pressure on councils to maintain recycling programs in the face of skyrocketing costs. The project would require a significant capital investment to take off, but could have a huge impact on Australia’s recycling industry.

Image: ABC

Who Gives a Crap?

Who Gives a Crap makes environmentally friendly toilet paper (from 100% recycled materials!) and donates 50% of their profits to building toilets for those in need! Here are their latest tips to building easy, enviro-friendly daily habits.

  1. Say no to plastic Bags. The average use of a plastic bag is 12 minutes!
  2. BYO drink bottle. Water bottles take over a thousand hears to biodegrade
  3. Ask for no straw. Is it really so strenuous to pick up your glass?
  4. Cut down on disposables. Take away food comes with a lot of plastic; try eating in or bringing your own container.
  5. Stock up on TP with Who Gives a Crap

Ipswich City Council Reconsiders Decision To Stop Recycling

Earlier this month, Ipswich City Council stated that the cost of its recycling program was no longer feasible and it was dropping the program. During its waste crisis, an inquiry found that the contents of Ipswich’s yellow lidded recycling bins had been going to landfill for six weeks and counting.  The decision ignited strong public backlash and Council now plans to reverse its decision to send recycling to landfill.

This still leaves Ipswich with a major problem.  Following China’s ban on waste imports, the cost of recycling is skyrocketing – an issue which is compounded in Ipswich where more than 50% of recycling waste is contaminated (by comparison Brisbane City has a recycling waste contamination rate of less than 10%). Recycling loads with more than 25% contamination won’t be accepted and must go to landfill.  If Ipswich city Council and residents can’t work together to get contamination levels under control, waste will continue to be rejected and sent to landfill.

Image: ABC

Straw Bale Gardening

A great green gardening trend that is coming back into fashion is straw bale gardening.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, its pretty much exactly what you are imagining – growing veggies or flowers in bales of straw, instead directly in the ground.

Compared to traditional gardening methods, it has a range of benefits. Straw bale gardening is easy to set up and far less labor intensive – none of that digging up the backyard or building planter boxes. It is highly versatile and adaptable, if you have a few acres, or a concrete balcony, straw bale gardening can work for you. Its even more productive than traditional gardening and can extend your growing season!

It isn’t without its drawbacks; the bales aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as a slick new planter box and can require more watering.  They certainly have their own charm though, and if its an idea you are interested in, here is a great article that takes a step by step approach to setting one up, as well as a consideration of the pros and cons of the straw bale approach.

Plan Your Brisbane Round Table

If you live in Brisbane you may have heard of Council’s recent ‘Plan your Brisbane’ campaign. The campaign is seeking to get those of us who live in Brisbane to step up and have their say about what we would like our city to look like in the future.

The campaign included a number of open forum discussions and an online game which was an exceptional tool for getting people involved and thinking about what they would prioritise. The game assessed how each player prioritised affordability, lifestyle, transport and greenspace as part of the polling process.

As part of this campaign, Brisbane city council hosted a round table discussion among Brisbane planning and construction industry leaders which John Tuxworth attended as President of the AGDF. The discussion aimed to aid the formation of a Charter of Principals that will guide critical development decisions to intentionally shape Brisbane’s future growth.  As part of the discussions, John Tuxworth contributed to a workshop sub-group comprising Noel Robinson (Noel Robinson Architects), Floor Felten (Brisbane Airport Corporation), and Greg Meek (Gadens).

The roundtable discussion addressed four primary areas of future development and discussed potential principals of each that council could focus on developing. The areas were lifestyle, greenspace, affordability and transport, with additional time to discuss any other areas of influence.

To work toward these objectives, the round table put forward a range of suggestions. Greater connectivity between rural and city zones, improved transportation to beach cities, additional green space and entertainment venues were brought up. Other suggestions included integrated, self-contained communities; electric buses; free transport; and a light rail around the city.

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