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.

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