How might sharing systems be supported by physical infrastructure?
WasteNet aims to promote community and encourage sharing, through (aptly named) Sharing Hubs.
The project, set in Hastings, aims to minimise the amount of materials going into landfill. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council provides basic garbage and recycling collections, and offers hard/green waste collection upon request. However, there is no dedicated system to manage green waste (which makes up 47% of landfill material), or to re-distribute working goods, allowing waste and unnecessary consumption to be minimised. Hastings’ rubbish goes by truck to the Rye landfill, which is a round trip of 70km. Recyclables go to by truck to Coolaroo, which is a round trip of 200km.
The Sharing Hubs prolong the use-life of goods by making them available to other people. They encourage the community to become aware of and involved in the waste cycle, and to take responsibility for waste they produce. One example of this is the WasteNet Community Composting Scheme. Organic waste is collected from residents, commercial premises, schools and so on, and taken to the community composting facility, and produced compost is available for collection from the Sharing Hubs. Localised waste systems would create jobs and keep valuable resources in the local area.
The Freecycle wall physically enables ‘freecycling’. The wall operates like a public cabinet and allows residents to trade items. One side of the wall operates as a public swap space, where residents leave items they no longer want, and others may take and use them – this area isn’t regulated or monitored. The other side of the wall is inside a building, where the transactions are regulated and monitored but the service is still free. Sharing Hubs and Freecycle walls are located at places like local bus stops, to encourage chance encounters and create small local community meeting and communication spaces.
Nishan Ratinam & Peroja Perera