Mildura Rural City Council has unveiled plans for a new three-bin kerbside waste collection system, which for the first time will include organic waste collection.
The proposed service would see the addition of a third, green bin to residents’ existing kerbside recycling and general rubbish bins, which would be for food and organic waste. This new 240-litre bin would be collected on a weekly basis.
For two successive years in the past Mildura Rural City Council called for such a service to be established but was told by by the Council administration such a scheme could not be funded.
Existing 120-litre rubbish bins would switch to a fortnightly collection schedule. 240-litre recycling bins would continue to be collected fortnightly. The new three bin system would be introduced in about three years, with Councillors likely to vote on the plan this September.
Councillor for Environment and Farming Sustainability Anthony Cirillo said the proposed new system was in response to feedback from the community as well as the positive environmental impacts of diverting significant amounts of waste from landfill.
“Throughout our Community and Council Plan feedback sessions last year, the introduction of a kerbside food and organic waste service came up frequently,” Cr Cirillo said.
“We’ve listened to that feedback and come up with a model to take back to the community to see if it meets their expectations.
“From an environmental perspective, our plan will have a major positive impact on the amount of waste going landfill.”
Of the 11,000 tonnes of rubbish currently going to landfill through the kerbside system in our region, 55 per cent is organic material - 30 per cent of which is food organics, with the rest garden waste.
“That means we have the potential to divert about 6000 tonnes of organic material from going to landfill, which is significant,” Cr Cirillo said, stressing that despite organic material being ‘natural’, it still poses a serious threat to the environment when landfilled.
“Organic material breaks down in landfill and creates greenhouse gases and leachate (liquid that is produced from decomposition of organic material) which can pollute the environment,” he said.
“Diverting organic material from landfill allows for a beneficial use of that material which could be for compost, soil conditioning and other uses.”
Cr Cirillo said that based on a trial kerbside organics service in Merbein six years ago, which was conducted by the Mildura Regional Waste Management Group in partnership with Council and Cleanaway, the majority of residents are expected to take advantage of the three-bin system.
The 2013 kerbside organics trial resulted in 117.9 tonnes of organic material being diverted from landfill over 15 weeks, with audits showing 100 per cent of garden waste and 70 per cent of food waste diverted from the kerbside rubbish bins.
“The feedback from the community on the trial was that an overwhelming majority (85 per cent) wanted to see the service continue,” Cr Cirillo said.
Currently, 59 of the 79 Victorian councils provide a kerbside organics service. And as in other cities and towns across the state, the new service would increase costs to Council, which will ultimately result in an estimated $55 increase to residents’ annual rates, or $1.06 per week.
“No one likes to see an increase in any of their bills, including us as rate-paying Councillors and the majority of our staff, but the unfortunate reality is, providing a new service costs money,” Cr Cirillo said.
“This is why we’re taking this plan out to the community to seek their feedback, including feedback on how the service will operate.
“This will all be considered by Councillors before any decision is made in September, which is why it’s so important that the community takes this opportunity to provide their feedback.”
In a bid to ensure residents are aware of the proposed new service, and to seek their feedback, Council will roll-out a series of market stalls and community meetings throughout the region in May and June.
These sessions will be conducted in areas where kerbside services are already provided including:
Mildura City Market
Sunday May 13 2018, 8am-1pm
Sunraysia Farmers Market
Saturday May 19 2018, 8am-1pm
Red Cliffs Country Market
Sunday June 3, 9am-1pm
Merbein Street Market
Sunday June, 17 8am-1pm
Information on the proposed three-bin system and session details are available on Council’s website at www.mildura.vic.gov.au/3bins
All feedback received will be compiled and considered by Councillors prior to a decision being made in September this year.
For more information contact Council’s Waste Management Team on (03) 5018 8100.