Concerns over City recycling
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder says it wants to be a “clean and green city” amid criticism of its kerbside recycling service from two former councillors.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder resident Graham McGarry, who served on the Town of Kalgoorlie council in the 1980s, criticised the service in questions to the City during public question time in December.
The City’s formal response became publicly available last week in the minutes of the January 18 ordinary council meeting.
Among Mr McGarry’s biggest concerns was his belief contractors Cleanaway were not locally owned and Kalgoorlie-Boulder was the only local government authority in the Goldfields to undertake kerbside recycling.
“Will council take that into consideration when considering the future of this activity?” he asked.
The City confirmed the corporate head office of Transpacific Cleanaway was in Melbourne and its registered office was in Milton, Queensland.
But it said Cleanaway had a waste depot and recycling facility in West Kalgoorlie and was considered a regional tenderer.
“When considering the future of the recycling service, the life and cost of operating a landfill facility to take the previously recycled materials, and the cost of developing and licensing a new facility would also need to be considered,” a City spokesperson said.
The City’s vision statement aims to be a “clean and green city” and “changes to treatment of waste must consider this vision”, the spokesperson said.
Less than a decade of capacity remains at the City’s Yarri Road refuse facility, 7km north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Council documents show 17 per cent of residents used the kerbside recycling service in the December quarter, with 405 tonnes collected.
The City launched the fortnightly pick-ups in July, 2007, and is targeting a recycling rate of 50 per cent by 2020.
But former councillor and Kalgoorlie Miner columnist Doug Daws this month called for kerbside recycling to be scrapped.
“It is expensive and no one wants to say how much of the 1600 or so tonnes collected is actually turned into something useful, other than profit for a waste collection company that is pocketing the only profit,” he wrote in his weekly Miner column.
Council figures show the contamination rate was 38 per cent for the December quarter, well above the council’s target of 20 per cent.
The contamination rate represents the amount of non-recyclable material collected as a proportion of the total waste in the bright blue recycling bins.