For rubbish, bigger is better

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 May, 2007, 12:00am

The public prefers large rubbish bags and wants food waste dumped free of charge.

These are among conclusions from the government's first waste-charging trial.

Most of the respondents said in a questionnaire survey after the trial that they preferred a 15-litre bag, followed by 10 litres and 20 litres. The least preferred is the five-litre bag.

Officials had believed that a smaller bag might prompt the public to dump less by recycling more.

While the survey found that more than 50 per cent of the people supported a volume-based charging scheme, some said in subsequent discussion sessions that they wanted a grace period with an initial nominal charge, which could then be increased gradually.

Others said they wanted no charge for disposing of food waste dumped in designated bags. They also agreed that manufacturers and retailers should use less packaging materials.