Set­ting bar for or­ganic waste

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

Over the past four years, four re­gional towns in north­ern Vic­to­ria have achieved or­ganic waste re­sults that are the envy of many re­gional and met­ro­pol­i­tan coun­cils.

“From day one our res­i­dents have kept con­tam­i­na­tion rates be­low 0.5% - that’s bet­ter than half the in­dus­try best prac­tice goal of 1%. We think it’s an achieve­ment our com­mu­ni­ties can be re­ally proud of and is well and truly worth cel­e­brat­ing,” said Moira Shire Mayor Li­bro Mus­tica.

Moira Shire Coun­cil in­tro­duced the or­ganic waste ser­vice to the towns of Co­bram, Nathalia, Nu­murkah and Yar­ra­wonga just prior to Christ­mas four years ago and re­alised very early that the suc­cess of the ser­vice re­lied on the com­mu­nity.

“We can pro­vide the bins, cad­dies, bags, trucks and all the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and education pro­grams in the world but we can’t con­trol what hap­pens in­side our res­i­dents’ homes,” Mayor Mus­tica said.

“We are ab­so­lutely thrilled with how our com­mu­ni­ties in Co­bram, Nathalia, Nu­murkah and Yar­ra­wonga have re­sponded and the re­sults are phe­nom­e­nal.

“If the con­tam­i­na­tion rate is too high the or­ganic waste can’t be pro­cessed into mulch which pretty much de­feats the pur­pose of the ser­vice and cre­ates ad­di­tional fees that come back to rate pay­ers.”

Mayor Mus­tica said while he can’t pin­point why the ser­vice had been so suc­cess­ful, “I think we can put it down to a re­ally great lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

“We put a lot of ef­fort into de­sign­ing and rolling out the new ser­vice – but so have many other coun­cils and they haven’t seen the same re­sults,” Mayor Mus­tica said.

“We are a big part of Vic­to­ria’s food bowl and I think that com­mon sense un­der­stand­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment and its im­por­tance to our lo­cal food pro­duc­tion and econ­omy has helped.

“Waste man­age­ment ac­counts for around 10% of Moira Shire’s an­nual ex­pen­di­ture.

“Find­ing ways to re­duce costs for rate pay­ers and pro­tect our lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment and with it lo­cal food pro­duc­tion makes sense - the or­ganic waste ser­vice is one way we mak­ing this hap­pen.”

With sev­eral coun­cils find­ing it a chal­lenge to achieve 3-4% con­tam­i­na­tion rates Mayor Mus­tica said there was a fur­ther bonus.

“It feels pretty good to ex­plain that our dec­i­mal place isn’t in the wrong spot – it’s just that our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties are achiev­ing re­sults that are al­most ten times bet­ter than theirs – it’s a healthy lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion to have,” said Mayor Mus­tica.

All Moira Shire Coun­cilors along­side Gen­eral Man­ager Com­mu­nity Sally Rice with the Or­ganic Waste Col­lec­tion items that are be­ing very well used across the Shire.

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