Sunday, May 26, 2024

Blue Mountains boost waste services ahead of bushfire season

Blue Mountains City Council is set to trial additional waste and recycling services to extend its existing services to residents and to support the local community to prepare for bushfire season. 

From 1 July, residents will be able to tailor their kerbside pick up and facility drop off waste services, with a greater variety of items able to be accepted, including up to four cubic metres of green waste and organics.

A kerbside chipping service will be available during August to support residents with bushfire season preparation.

Two extra weekly green bin collections will also be available during September.

“These additional services are being trialled in response to community feedback asking for initiatives that provide more flexibility and convenience around our existing waste and recycling services,” said Mayor, Mark Greenhill.

“Each residential property currently receives two Booked Waste services per financial year. The additional services mean that a booked Kerbside Pick Up can be swapped for a Facility Drop Off (in the 12 months), or a Kerbside Chipping service during August.

“We’re also offering additional Green Bin collections during September, to help residents prepare for the bushfire season.”

Council considered the proposed initiatives in response to a Notice of Motion by Mayor Greenhill in January this year.

He said the organisation had a long history of providing waste and recycling services through a strategy led and evidence-based approach.

A comprehensive audit in October 2021 of Council’s waste and recycling services, showed good performance of the current kerbside bin services.

  • Weekly Garbage Bin – the average garbage bin was 68% full with 80% of households putting their bin out for collection.
  • Fortnightly Recycling Bin – the average recycle bin was 81% full with 80% of households putting their bin out for collection.
  • Fortnightly Green Bin – the average green bin was 80% full with 84% of households putting their bin out for collection.

Council’s community-endorsed 10-year Towards Zero Waste Strategy includes the Circular Economy model in the organisation’s decision-making process for the service. It moves from the traditional linear model of ‘produce, consume, dispose’ to a circular model that seeks to keep materials cycling through repair, reuse and recycling for as long as possible.

Given these principles and knowing that the intent of the proposed initiatives is to achieve cost neutral service improvements that support residents to increase resource recovery and prepare their properties for bushfire season, the trial services have also been prepared, the Mayor said.

Council is intending to put a report to the February 2023 meeting with the outcomes of the trial – six months into the trial.  

Also, as part of the Towards Zero Waste Strategy, Council has endorsed the introduction of a Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) service from July 2026 when the current waste contract ends (preliminary works on introducing the service will begin in 2024).

“When we consulted with our community in 2014-2015 to introduce a green bin service, the majority of community members opted for a green bin only (and not the FOGO service),” Mayor Greenhill said.

“Introducing this service mid contract is not cost effective. However, BMCC will introduce a FOGO service by 2026 four years before the NSW Government has mandated that all NSW councils provide this service.”


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