Community has its say on waste

Council will take on board crucial public feedback as it prepares to enter a new waste contract from mid-2018.

While community consultation on waste services showed a strong preference for retaining existing services, it also revealed strong appetite for change and more sustainable options to reduce waste to landfill.

Mayor Bob Sloane said Council had listened to the community and would respond with greater leadership, community education and strategies for people to minimise and self-manage waste.

For the first time Council will investigate the option of a voluntary fortnightly 240L organics service within major townships and major rural areas for both garden waste and food waste.

Mayor Sloane said more than 5000 public submissions, including 4850 surveys, represented a significant and positive community engagement exercise.

“We were thrilled with how the community responded, giving us their feedback and in many instances, their innovative recycling and reuse ideas,” he said.

“While the consultation results indicate the majority of people want to retain existing services, it also revealed changing community attitudes towards waste.

“This starts with small lifestyle changes that can and will make a big difference to our waste and recycling targets, and ultimately drive long-term change.”

At the June Council meeting. Council resolved as part of the new waste tender to:

  • retain the current weekly 140L waste bin service
  • retain the fortnightly 240L recycling bin service
  • incorporate an optional voluntary fortnightly 240L organics service within all major townships and major rural areas for food and green (garden) waste
  • incorporate an optional kitchen caddy bin and compostable bags as part of the organics collection service.

A once-yearly hard waste collection service and hard waste voucher will also be considered.

Final waste services will be determined following consideration of the waste tenders.

Mayor Sloane thanked everyone who contributed to the consultation and said another key outcome would see Council develop a waste education strategy.

“We heard loud and clear that people want more information about what can be placed in each of the waste streams, and what they can do to minimise wastage,” he said.

“We believe Council, alongside key sustainability partners, should be advocates of encouraging a ‘reuse and recycle’ culture, recognising it is a community partnership and a shared responsibility.”

The tender will be released in July, with a decision on the final waste service to be clearly communicated to the community.