Ex­tra rub­bish bin on way

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Res­i­dents will soon add an ex­tra bin for dis­pos­able food waste to their weekly rou­tines.

They will also face a stri­dent ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign in­form­ing them the re­gion’s mount­ing rub­bish woes are ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

At last week’s coun­cil meet­ing the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River com­mit­ted to the am­bi­tious goal of di­vert­ing 70 per cent of house­hold waste from land­fill.

The move comes with the adop­tion of a re­cent waste-man­age­ment study in which con­sul­tants ear­marked a UK-style ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign to guide land­fill goals.

“Rec­om­mended changes will re­quire a sig­nif­i­cant ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign to pre­pare the com­mun- ity prior to and dur­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the tran­si­tion to a more sus­tain­able waste man­age­ment sys­tem,” last week’s re­port said.

Con­sul­tants GFG were asked to of­fer choices on how to move for­ward with­out big cost jumps for res­i­dents, al­though charges would in­evitably climb de­spite a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar fund for waste man­age­ment re­couped via a ratepayer levy in re­cent years.

The Shire’s waste levy will reach about $30 mil­lion by 2023-24, when David Road (waste man­age­ment site) shuts, and $100 mil­lion by 2038 at cur­rent rates.

Con­sul­tants said ac­cept­ing the ex­ist­ing waste model was un­sus­tain­able, the Davis Road tip was com­ing to the end of its life, the com­mer­cial sec­tor needed to lift its game, in­ter­na­tional re­cy­cling regi- mes were in tur­bu­lence and there was no im­me­di­ate op­tion for a vi­able new land­fill site in the re­gion.

They said adding a “FOGO bin” for or­ganic food and gar­den waste was the best op­tion.

The three bins in­clude a weekly col­lec­tion from the lime green-lid­ded 240-litre FOGO bin, and a fort­nightly 240-litre bin for re­cy­clables and a 140-litre red bin for gen­eral waste.

Ed­u­ca­tion would seek to di­vert waste from land­fill.

“We re­ally need to get the com­mu­nity on board and help them un­der­stand they have to be re­spon­si­ble for their waste,” deputy Shire pres­i­dent Ju­lia Mel­drum said.

Truck­ing waste be­yond 45km was also un­sus­tain­able, with col­lected rub­bish hauled to Dar­danup on road trains the best short-term op­tion. The plan leaves the Shire with fu­ture choices, in­clud­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion to call for in­ter­est in a lo­cal or­ganic-waste pro­cess­ing cen­tre run by the pri­vate sec­tor. The time frame would also al­low the Shire to con­sider ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy that might im­prove land­fill out­comes.

De­spite lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges, kerb­side col­lec­tion was rec­om­mended for all areas, and re­cy­cling would be ex­tended to Au­gusta — found to have poor re­cy­cling rates due to non-manda­tory re­cy­cling.

The fu­ture of the Cowaramup, Rosa Brook, and Alexan­dra Bridge trans­fer sta­tions, and col­lec­tions from East Au­gusta, would also be sub­ject to in­ves­ti­ga­tion “with the view to po­ten­tial clo­sure and re­place­ment with an al­ter­na­tive waste col­lec­tion so­lu­tion”.

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