Friday, July 19, 2024

Ballarat to decide on future of kerbside collections

City of Ballarat Council will this week consider a report on the future of kerbside waste and glass collections for the local government area.

The officer recommendation to Council proposes the introduction of a new weekly Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection, household waste collection changing from weekly to fortnightly, the introduction of a monthly residential glass bin collection and for mixed recyclables to continue to be collected fortnightly.

In a statement, the Council said that should it adopt the proposed FOGO and household waste collection changes, the rollout will take place at a date to be determined.

“The exact timing will be dependent on a range of factors, including the City of Ballarat being able to engage a suitable FOGO processor in the region as well as procuring bins and caddies, and the development and implementation of a comprehensive community education campaign,” it said.

Council says results from the two rounds of community consultation carried out in the past 12 months, together with evidence from other Victorian councils and information about the incoming State Government Service Standards, were used by officers to inform the recommendations about future FOGO, household waste and glass collections.

“The proposed recommendation was strongly supported by the community with 40% of community survey respondents favouring the weekly FOGO and fortnightly waste collection frequency option and 84% supporting a glass kerbside service.”

Victorian councils that have implemented weekly FOGO and fortnightly household waste collections have achieved a noticeably higher percentage (up to 50%) of waste diversion from landfill, than councils that retained a weekly household waste collection and introduced a fortnightly FOGO collection (up to 10%).

“The recommended option has the greatest potential to encourage household behaviour change and reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill. It will encourage residents to use their FOGO bin and potentially halve the amount of waste going into residents’ household waste bin,” Council said.

The option is also expected to have the lowest cost increase to ratepayers.

“It will cost the City of Ballarat an extra $800,000 a year to deliver the service – costing each ratepayer an estimated extra $16 a year,” Council says.

“The environmental benefits will include about 10,500 tonnes of food organics set to be recycled and turned into new products, like compost. This will reduce carbon emissions created in the landfill by an estimated 5,000 tonnes.”

The proposed FOGO service will be provided to about 49,000 residential properties under 4,000 square metres that receive a council kerbside waste and recycling service. Larger properties will be able to opt-in to the FOGO service for an annual estimated cost of $88.

If adopted, the recommendation for the introduction of a monthly glass kerbside collection with a 140 litre purple-lid bin would be rolled out after the FOGO and household waste service changes, with the City of Ballarat waiting to assess the impact of the State Government’s Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), due to begin on 1 November 2023.  

The CDS is expected to noticeably reduce glass volumes in kerbside household waste bins.

“City of Ballarat officers will assess the impact on how residents manage their glass waste and the viability of introducing a kerbside glass bin over the first year of the CDS operation. Any changes to the recommended glass service model will be presented to Council for endorsement before implementation.”

“The monthly glass kerbside collection was the most cost effective of the two options put forward for community feedback. The option will cost the City of Ballarat an additional $500,000 each year to deliver the service and around an extra $10 a year for each ratepayer. An extra 250 tonnes of glass are expected to be redirected from landfill and recycled,” Council said.

In line with the State Government’s Circular Economy (Waste Reduction and Recycling) Act 2021, all Local Government Areas are required to transition to a separate glass service and a separate food organics and garden organics (FOGO) service. The State Government requires a glass collection service to be introduced by 2027 and a FOGO service by 2030.

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