Hard Rubbish Rummaging Considered Legal Looting...

Throughout Australia many councils from time to time coordinate hard rubbish collections for local residents in various council divisions. For anyone who doesn't know what hard rubbish collection is, it's an opportunity for residents to have larger household items like large appliances and white goods, furniture, garden waste, building supplies and more to be collected by council from the kerbside. As long it's not normal household refuse (food scraps etc) most household and garden items with a few exclusions can be collected during a determined collection period.

My local division has recently had a hard rubbish collection and driving around the streets there have been all manner of items lined up on kerbsides awaiting collection. Those with eagle eyes have seen opportunities to reuse, recycle or upcycle further and it's been a common sight to see people going through others hard rubbish and taking things they see use or need for.

Now for me I have no issue whatsoever with people going through hard rubbish on the kerbside and taking things that have a use for. I believe we live in a time where recycling and upcycling is essential. However there are others that hold different views about hard rubbish collection.

The Gold Coast Bulletin (our cities major newspaper)  has come out with an article that states that the behaviour of going through hard rubbish at collection times is known as legal looting. Furthermore the article states that outside the hard rubbish collection period the act of rummaging through kerbside hard rubbish is actually illegal and a fineable offence.


Here is the link to the full article and the above image is also credited to the Gold Coast Bulletin: Reckon you can loot from Gold Coast hard rubbish collections? Some Residents are kicking up a stink.

Now whilst it's unlikely any council would send out law enforcement outside collection times to fine those engaging in the act or rummaging or picking, I find it outreageous that it's a treat that it could happen. In Australia by large most people would understand that it is illegal to go through someones household rubbish bins (household waste, food scraps etc) as well as mail box and letters etc. Surely we need to look at hard rubbish differently?

But what does this mean for the well meaning and good intentioned person who wants to pop something out of the kerbside to give someone the chance of picking up are treasure that will be useful for free. Does that mean that the property owner is also opening themselves up to be fined for littering or other offences?

I realise there are many other factors to consider with these laws like public health and safety, and those who take advantage and dump excess amounts of hard rubbish beyond the collection guidelines. But don't we live in a time where we need to look at encouraging more of this freecycling behaviour?

I'm finding this a really interesting topic at the moment, one I will be looking into further, but in meantime I want to hear from others. In the comments below please tell me about your experiences with hard rubbish collection! Have you done a clean out and had people go through your unwanted things? Have you done some kerbside rummaging yourself? Does hard rubbish collection bother you? Share your experiences and opinions, I really want to look at this further!

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My Vintage Childhood: Hard Rubbish Rummaging Considered Legal Looting...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hard Rubbish Rummaging Considered Legal Looting...

Throughout Australia many councils from time to time coordinate hard rubbish collections for local residents in various council divisions. For anyone who doesn't know what hard rubbish collection is, it's an opportunity for residents to have larger household items like large appliances and white goods, furniture, garden waste, building supplies and more to be collected by council from the kerbside. As long it's not normal household refuse (food scraps etc) most household and garden items with a few exclusions can be collected during a determined collection period.

My local division has recently had a hard rubbish collection and driving around the streets there have been all manner of items lined up on kerbsides awaiting collection. Those with eagle eyes have seen opportunities to reuse, recycle or upcycle further and it's been a common sight to see people going through others hard rubbish and taking things they see use or need for.

Now for me I have no issue whatsoever with people going through hard rubbish on the kerbside and taking things that have a use for. I believe we live in a time where recycling and upcycling is essential. However there are others that hold different views about hard rubbish collection.

The Gold Coast Bulletin (our cities major newspaper)  has come out with an article that states that the behaviour of going through hard rubbish at collection times is known as legal looting. Furthermore the article states that outside the hard rubbish collection period the act of rummaging through kerbside hard rubbish is actually illegal and a fineable offence.


Here is the link to the full article and the above image is also credited to the Gold Coast Bulletin: Reckon you can loot from Gold Coast hard rubbish collections? Some Residents are kicking up a stink.

Now whilst it's unlikely any council would send out law enforcement outside collection times to fine those engaging in the act or rummaging or picking, I find it outreageous that it's a treat that it could happen. In Australia by large most people would understand that it is illegal to go through someones household rubbish bins (household waste, food scraps etc) as well as mail box and letters etc. Surely we need to look at hard rubbish differently?

But what does this mean for the well meaning and good intentioned person who wants to pop something out of the kerbside to give someone the chance of picking up are treasure that will be useful for free. Does that mean that the property owner is also opening themselves up to be fined for littering or other offences?

I realise there are many other factors to consider with these laws like public health and safety, and those who take advantage and dump excess amounts of hard rubbish beyond the collection guidelines. But don't we live in a time where we need to look at encouraging more of this freecycling behaviour?

I'm finding this a really interesting topic at the moment, one I will be looking into further, but in meantime I want to hear from others. In the comments below please tell me about your experiences with hard rubbish collection! Have you done a clean out and had people go through your unwanted things? Have you done some kerbside rummaging yourself? Does hard rubbish collection bother you? Share your experiences and opinions, I really want to look at this further!

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8 Comments:

At October 30, 2014 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Linda said...

One man's junk is another man's treasure is my motto. Our lovely chandlier hanging in our hallway in Louisiana was a curbside find in Harlem, The Netherlands. My Dutch husband was in a panic when I told him to stop the car and open the trunk. He was soooo afraid someone would see us pick up some else's "garbage." We didn't even live in Harlem!!! No one knew us! After 10 years and a move to the US, he enjoys telling the story of the lamp ;) And he even stopped and picked up a huge buffet mirror from a driveway garbage heap out here in the country where we live. That cleaned up "beauty" hangs over our fireplace! So freecycling is okay by me! Hugs, Linda@Wetcreek Blog

 
At October 30, 2014 at 6:05 PM , Blogger Iliska Dreams said...

I love hard rubbish! I have furnished a good chunk of my house from curbside finds that I have revamped. I also put things out in the hope that others will take and put them to good use.

 
At October 31, 2014 at 12:24 AM , Blogger Vix said...

Most of my house is furnished from skip finds. One man's rubbish and all that! x

 
At October 31, 2014 at 5:46 AM , Blogger Curtise said...

I think that taking something out of a skip here in the UK is technically theft, but it happens all the time, and most people don't mind in the least. And people always put unwanted items out on the street with signs saying "take me!" Skip diving is a national sport, it would be ridiculous if it was suddenly patrolled by the coppers! xxx

 
At October 31, 2014 at 9:26 PM , Blogger Vintage Bird Girl said...

We don't have kerbside collection in our suburb. I wish we did. I always drive a bit slower with eyes peeled when I'm in a suburb at collection time. I do feel a bit self conscious having a rummage, especially on a busy road, but I'll still do it never the less. Xx

 
At October 31, 2014 at 10:54 PM , Blogger Amanda Kendle said...

Far out, I have always considered this an important form of recycling! We would have no chairs at our dining table without this ;-)

 
At November 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM , Blogger Erin said...

Really! Around here everybody rummages, and I put out items and get excited when taken to new homes. Our college boy in Sydney outfitted his entire home with kerbside pic up items, better items than some of ours! We need to save the landfill
Visiting from rewind.

 
At November 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM , Blogger ♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

I love hard rubbish collections. One man's junk is another man's treasure is my motto too. My husband is less impressed but I've scored some useful trash.I tell him I'm saving landfill.
At the tip it is illegal to remove ' treasure' trash. They want it all for themselves.

 

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