Bin brawls back on the nose
FORTNIGHTLY rubbish collection is back on the agenda, as councils and the State Government sort through solutions to an international recycling crisis.
Environment Minister David Speirs said he was willing to consider a council-led push to scrap regulations that required weekly general rubbish pick-ups.
The previous State Government banned fortnightly collections after an unpopular trial in Norwood, Payneham & St Peters and Campbelltown councils in 2009. Councils have fresh motivation to crack down on waste after rubbishcollection costs spiked in the wake of the Chinese Government’s decision to this year ban imported recyclables.
The Local Government Association is now planning to gather evidence to lobby the government to repeal the fortnightly rubbish collection ban.
LGA public affairs execu- tive director Lisa Teburea said councils had raised the idea as a means to encourage household recycling habits.
“South Australians already lead the nation in recycling practices, but we should always look for opportunities to further improve,” Ms Teburea, pictured, said.
“With the State Government’s solid waste levy now at $100 a tonne in metropolitan Adelaide, any waste that is diverted from landfill not only benefits the environment, but also reduces the burden on ratepayers.”
Ms Teburea, pictured, said as well as changes to government regulations, a shift from weekly collections would require “considerable” community consultation and education.
The 2009 State Government-backed trial of fortnightly rubbish collections in NP&SP and Campbelltown prompted a backlash from residents, with reports of overflowing bins causing a stink across neighbourhoods.
Prospect Council had voted to introduce fortnightly collections before the government announced the ban.
At the time, then-environment minister Jay Weatherill cited “significant opposition” from residents among the reasons for the ban.
Waste Management authorities, including East Waste, and some councils have since lobbied the government to relax the restriction – to no avail. But Mr Speirs said his government would consider all “practical ideas” to improve waste management, including less-frequent collection.
“I have made it clear that we are open to looking at a range of options that would reduce the amount of waste and continue South Australia’s leadership in this important area,” Mr Speirs said.
Prospect Mayor and Local Government Association of Australia president David O’Loughlin said weekly general collection would become unnecessary as households improved recycling habits.
“As we get better at recycling and composting ... the volume of material in the (general rubbish) bin will diminish to such an extent that it (weekly collection) is not necessary,” Mr O’Loughlin said.