As our gorgeous girl approached her 7th birthday we decided her present would be a bigger bike.
Friends had mentioned that these were often available at the tip shop, so we set off to find a suitable machine to hide in the birthday wrapping (cloth, of course - which is much easier to wrap a bike in than paper would have been!)
We found a treasure-trove of bikes and much, much more.
The inside section was much like any op-shop, only with more electrical goods and hardly any clothes. A whole rack of vacuum cleaner cords, and a multi-level shelf of cordless drills. But the yard outside had everything you could possibly imagine.
Bathroom hardware? Check.
Law mowers? Check.
Screen doors? Check.
Internal workings of a life-size dinosaur model? Check.
Initial Time: Road trip to the tip shop: half an hour each way to reach the City of Armadale's Canning Vale tip shop. Time taken walking about resisting all the other good stuff: at least an hour.
Initial Cost: One kids' bike in good condition cost us $10. Those in poorer condition were only $5. We stored the bike at Tyson's parents for a few weeks so it would be a birthday surprise and I believe Grandad quietly did some renovation works while it was there, which likely included a small cost for materials and some time but I don't know how much.
Ongoing time or cost commitment: Zero. However, we will be considering donating items to the tip shop in future if they are not picked up before the truck comes on chuck-out day. I would like to have someone take them off our lawn for free, but once that truck comes they are crushed into landfill refuse, so better to reclaim them and take them somewhere they could be reused.
Impact: Australians, as I have noted before, each generate around one tonne of rubbish every year. Our rate of waste generation is increasing more than six times faster than our population growth. We desperately need to turn this around. The good news is that since 2005, in most parts of Australia, the total tonnage being sent to landfill has reduced, as rates of recycling have increased over the last ten years. (April 2016 article). However, these statistics should be held cautiously as firm figures on waste are very difficult to obtain and nothing solid on the matter has come out of the ABS for over six years.
I have known people for years who pick up 'treasures' at the tip and have always privately thought this a little kooky. My mental image has been something about rummaging through dirty piles to bring home broken things. Our visit to the tip ship was enlightening: it was clean, things were sorted neatly and although some things needed repairs on the whole items were in fair to good condition.
Basically we all need to both consume less and waste less. Supporting tip shops does both.
Where to find a tip shop:
Find where your local government sends rubbish to (it may not be near to you) and check if there is a tip shop associated with it. In Perth, your options are:
Canning Vale/ Armadale Lot 600 Hopkinson Rd Hilbert, Thurs-Sun, hours vary.
Cockburn/ Henderson 920 Rockingham Rd, Fri-Sun and public holidays, 8-4pm
Tamala Park/ Mindarie 100 Marmion Ave Tamala Park, Fri-Mon, 8-4:45pm
Balcatta/ Stirling (includes a cafe) 238 Balcatta Rd Balcatta, Mon-Sun 7:30-4pm
East Metropolitan Regional Council reports they are three years into a project to expand their facility at 77 Lakes Rd Hazelmere to include a re-use store, but this does not appear to be operating as yet.