As with the general population, the only thing most strata property owners and residents have in common is that we are all different.
Yet no matter our age or our cultural background, one of the biggest issues those of us living in strata communities face is how best to sort and dispose our rubbish.
And with the war on waste movement increasing in popularity there are a number of innovative ways you can get rid of your unwanted goods while also doing our bit to protect the planet.
Green Strata says that when it comes to managing waste in apartments, all strata residents have a role to play in ensuring they are correctly managing waste in their apartment or townhouse.
The group which was launched to help owners and occupiers of existing residential multi-unit properties improve the sustainability of their communities, says ideally the best way residents can do this is by working to minimise the amount of waste they create, reusing goods and materials and recycling their waste.
It says there are a number of strata communities who have taken the bull by the horns when it comes to creatively reducing the amount of waste they send to landfill including one scheme where residents created a “swap room” for unwanted items in an unused common area.
Another replaced several large recycling bins in their basement with two smaller bins on each floor. The change resulted in a five-fold increase in the overall volume of materials recycled.
Instead of putting their rubbish into a chute, residents in a Sydney strata scheme dedicate a significant amount of time sorting and redistributing their recyclables including providing a 240L bin for recycling plastic bags which are then collected and used by a food charity that makes food deliveries to people suffering from HIV and cancer.
Another resident of the apartment block sorts through all discarded books and magazines and then redistributes them to local doctors’ surgeries and schools.
But not all waste created is suitable for recycling. When it comes to disposing general waste, the managers behind the scenes at Smarter Communities argue that to ensure harmony within our communities there are some rules that residents simply cannot ignore.
The first and most obvious of these of these is to always dump your rubbish where it belongs.
At most it will take you five minutes out of your day to transport your domestic waste down to the nearest shared receptacle for disposal. While slyly dumping your old pizza boxes or soft drink bottles in the lift may seem like a quick fix, it’s a disgusting act and unfair to your neighbours. No surprise you expose yourself to a barrage of abuse from fellow residents.
Managers also agree you should never leave your rubbish in common areas. It’s not always true that one man’s trash is another’s treasure and getting the scheme’s strata committee offside could find you looking for a new place to live.
It’s important too that strata residents avoid leaving unwanted furniture on the street. Not only does it look unsightly and diminish the appearance of your complex, but most councils offer free-of-charge collection. All you need to do is to arrange a collection.
For those lucky enough to have approval for animal companionship, they also advise pet owners to never leave pets unguarded andalways clean up after your pets.
Most schemes have by-laws in place requiring residents who own pets to take responsibility for cleaning any areas soiled by the animal.
Aside from the fact pet waste can carry harmful bacteria, parasites or viruses, it’s just plain common courtesy to ensure your neighbours don’t risk stepping in a steaming pile.