Introduced last month by West Australian authorities following the tragic death of 17-year-old Gemma Thoms at the Perth Big Day Out in February, there’s been a lot of heated discussion and debate over the effectiveness of ‘drug disposal bins’ at Australian music festivals. Although it was generally seen as a step in the right direction, the simple fact remained; why would a punter purchase recreational drugs only to dispose of them before they’d even entered the gate?
The most recent appearance of the bins – at the Perth leg of the V Festival on the weekend – has now been hailed an unceremonious flop, with only two pills (not yet confirmed to even be ecstasy) dumped across all six receptacles throughout the day. Admittedly it’s probably not the best test case for their success, with the V Festival drawing a much older and more mainstream audience than many other summer festivals, but it’s no doubt still a telling statistic.
Following feedback after the first trial of the bins at the Rock It festival in March some changes were made in time for their V Festival debut. Authorities increased the number of bins and also altered their colour, size and location in the hope of making them more obvious to patrons. Regardless of their clear failure, police commander Brian Cunningham has said the bins will return for further festivals.