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Roundup: Recycling praise is not what it's all about
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13/06/2017 - 11:00 pm
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I was amused to read this story in the  Herald online about the Bauhaus building’s recycling initiatives.

I don’t begrudge those residents their praise for recycling clothes.  Good on them. But I can’t help thinking, who was handing out their bouquets when my building did it all 15 years ago?

Yup, way back then we had residents throwing clothes away so Mrs FlatChat, who was chair at the time, called up a charity and had them install a clothing bin in our car park.

Then our enterprising building manager set up one collection point for small electrical items and used batteries, and another so people could leave unwanted furniture and working domestic appliances for other residents to use.

We even had a composting bin for a while (before the worms mysteriously died) and recently someone on the current committee introduced a collection bin for recycling Nespresso capsules (because we are that kind of building).

Also, because we are that kind of building, all the credit has been recycled too.  I remember the look on Mrs FlatChat’s face when someone said, “Oh you live in the same building as that wonderful Mrs SoAndSo who set up all the clothes collections for charity.”

But Mrs F says she doesn’t mind someone stealing her thunder (I do, but that’s just me) as long as it helps charity and clothes aren’t going in the bin. You don’t do it for the Brownie points, you do it because it’s the right thing to do.

So, yes, the people at Bauhaus should be praised, as should anyone else who makes a bit of an effort to reduce waste and help those who need it.

And as for the people who can’t even be bothered to separate their garbage, ignore signs that tell them not to put plastic bags in recycling bins and flout warnings not to drop wine bottles and pizza boxes down the garbage chutes … they should be recycled back to the stand-alone houses that they came from.

Phew!  I feel so much better having got that off my chest.  Now, here are this week’s collection of gripes and grumbles (only some of which have been recycled).

  • What do you do about a deposed despotic chairman who refuses to go away and harasses the committee with bogus claims at Fair Trading and NCAT? That’s HERE.
  • Two owners accidentally had private work done under a common property project. How do you get the money back? That’s HERE.
  • The chairman is the also the strata manager and he used proxies to outvote owners at the AGM and increase fees. Can you demand to see the evidence that the proxies are legitimate?  That’s HERE.
  • The NCAT adjudicator doesn’t seem to understand strata law when it comes to dividing fences. What can you do?  That’s HERE.
  • Who should you get to install smoke alarms – a specialist firm or an ordinary electrician? That’s HERE
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14/06/2017 - 12:18 pm
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I know what it is like to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness.  At least our place has so far been spared wine bottles free-falling nine floors down the chute, but that is about all!  White goods and mattresses are deposited on the footpath outside only a week or two after the well-publicised council cleanup days, and the same happens with VHS players, printers, TVs and monitors (early generation flat screens as well as the stragglers of analogue-only CRT sets) a similarly brief interval after the equally well-publicised e-waste collections.  Some of the latter goods will have been placed there by local residents, but I suspect that other items will have been transported from the perpetrators’ home addresses in the same capacious 4WDs that could have taken them to the e-waste collecting points!

Slobs happen.

Sir Humphrey

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14/06/2017 - 2:25 pm
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I have been collecting and recycling fluoro tubes for neighbours since there are only a few places to take them and I was doing that for the lights from the common property anyway. I have a little box by my front gate for people to leave them in. 

Our townhouses all have gardens and few have space for a trailer. We have long had a central place for green waste to be left. Our grounds maintenance people then clear the green waste periodically and take to a place that mulches and composts it. 

We have a lot of trees on site. When one dies or blows over the timber is cut up and left on site. We have enough to keep our wood-fired pizza oven and BBQ stocked with fuel and the smaller stuff is all mulched and reused around the site. 

We recycled used bricks and excess left over bricks from various repairs and extensions for paving our BBQ area.

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16/06/2017 - 1:19 am
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Oh Jimmy … touchy, touchy!

I thought we were all in this together – trying to make the strata world a better place.  You, Green Strata, SCA, the sustainability people at City of Sydney, Smart Green Apartments, Sydney Water, OCN, those fighting short term letting & overcrowding, and a host of others.

It was a confluence of events that brought together last week’s showing of the ABC TV series The War on Waste, City of Sydney’s proposed expansion of its kerbside waste collection processes announced on Tuesday this week and the Bauhaus is a great story that complimented these waste initiatives.

I don’t claim to be the first doing the recycling-in-an-apartment-building thing and in fact am climbing on the shoulders of many others, yourself and Mrs FlatChat included.  Your initiatives were known to me long before Smart Green Apartments existed.  You and several buildings in Melbourne were the catalyst for me in 2011, which was amplified by the Bauhaus involvement in the Smart Green Apartments program in 2012.

Wearing your heart on your sleeve is your prerogative, but next time, shoot arrows at things & people that matter.


Gordon Streight

Chairman, Bauhaus Apartments Pyrmont

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16/06/2017 - 8:38 am
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SGS said
Oh Jimmy … touchy, touchy!

I’m the touchy one here?!?

I was at pains to praise your efforts a couple of times in my piece.  And I was sending myself up by saying who got the praise didn’t matter as long as the good work was being done.

If anything, it’s the publicists at City of Sydney who were being very mildly criticised, for treating anything they haven’t heard of before as being something brand new.

But by highlighting that story and including a hyperlink to it I got a lot more people reading it

So what was that you said about firing your arrows at the appropriate target?

PS: Mrs F says I am touchy and I should apologise.  So … um … sorry for any offense – it wasn’t intentional.

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21/06/2017 - 2:59 pm
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Jimmy … apology accepted, thank you.  No offense taken.

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23/06/2017 - 4:12 pm
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We have exactly the opposite situation in our building. There are 71 residential units, and a number of restaurants and businesses, including 2 night clubs. Out OC, and all general meetings, are completely controlled and dominated by the commercial owners and operators. Therefore we not only don’t recycle – we don’t even have the normal Sydney Council garbage collection services.

Although all residential properties pay the $250/quarter +/-, for garbage collection included in Council rates, we also pay around $100,000/yr for commercial garbage collection, in our strata fees. Apparently our strata management company requested Council cease residential garbage pick up services when one of the nightclub/ restaurant owners, who was chairman at the time, purloined common property areas for restaurant usage. Separated commercial and residential garbage areas were no longer available.

Since moving into the building, some of the current residential owners have requested the building resumes residential collection services, with Council, and to cease being charged for commercial waste removal, but the OC have simply deferred the matter and, at this moment, have no intention of rectifying the situation. It is a real problem.

And don’t get me started on the rest of the inequities and ‘theft of common property’ in the building! It is a complete and utter nightmare …

We love our beautiful, sunny little inner city flats and want to stay here. But it seems residents never win a battle, against commercial interests. And there are only so many hours in a day you can spend bashing yr head against a wall before there aren’t any brain cells left to think with. It has been a never ending, extremely debilitating struggle.

Help us, flat chatters! We are at a loss.

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