Council in Focus, News

Beach bins project extended

beach bins

A seasonal beach-bin program that has stopped more than 10 tonnes of rubbish from being dumped on beaches in the City of Cockburn since the summer of 2019-20 has been expanded.

This year, 37 120-litre temporary bins will be installed along an eight kilometre stretch of Coogee Beach, up from 28 in the summer of 2020-2021.

The bins were originally installed as part of a $5000 Keep Australia Beautiful WA grant, which also enabled the city to increase multilingual educational signage around popular fishing hots spots along the coast.

Clare Courtauld, City of Cockburn Waste Education Co-ordinator said the third annual increase of bins at Coogee Beach was due to their popularity with beachgoers.

“The program is proof beach users become accustomed to using bins to responsibly dispose of rubbish if they are provided. Everyone wants to keep our precious coastal environment free of harmful materials,” she said.

Among the most common items found in the bins were disposable coffee cups and dog poo.

“Most single-use coffee cups are lined with plastic which means they cannot be recycled via the yellow-top recycling bin. We encourage cafes in Cockburn to join the Responsible Cafes  program to help reduce waste,” Courtauld said.

“This enables cafes to allow customers to bring their own reusables so that hot drinks can be served in a reusable cup rather than a disposable. The program’s other initiatives include offering a BYO discount, charging a single-use cup levy, offering a cup library or cup swap system.”

Last year, bins along local dog beaches netted more than 2.8 tonnes, comprising mainly dog poo, with each bin weighing an average of 15 kilograms.

Courtauld said she visited the beach several times a week during summer 2020-2021 and noticed an obvious reduction in the amount of full poo bags left on the beach, proving the bins’ popularity among dog owners.

The other most common items found in the beach bins were cans, bottles and soft plastics. Courtauld hoped there would be a reduction in the amount of cans and bottles this summer now that people are more familiar with the Containers for Change deposit scheme.

The beach bins are part of the City’s annual summer Clean Ocean Cockburn initiative.

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