Sunday, May 26, 2024

New era for Unley waste management


City of Unley Mayor, Michael Hewitson is heralding “the dawn of a new era” for the city’s waste management efforts, with the Council joining an ownership collective with East Waste.

Decided by unanimous decision at its July meeting, City of Unley Council will join seven other councils as a Constituent Council of the Eastern Waste Management Authority (East Waste) which it says will offer benefits to council, businesses, and residents.

“I’m delighted that Unley has joined East Waste as a Constituent Council and is now the proud part-owner of a reputable, well-regarded regional subsidiary. This is a great step forward as we adopt an ownership approach to achieve our objectives in waste management and resource recovery. I look forward to what this exciting new arrangement will bring to our community,” said Mayor Hewitson.

‘Waste management is one of the most vital and visible services any council provides. In a fruitful partnership with its community over recent years, Unley Council has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to recycling and to diverting waste from landfill. This takes it to a new level, and we will strive to make significant savings while reducing our carbon footprint.”

The Mayor said Unley Council was choosing to work smarter and more collaboratively with its community to ensure a sustainable environment for current and future generations.

In 2021, Council endorsed its Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan which proposed actions to achieve Council’s waste management goals, with emphasis on a circular economy.

The plan also considers the possible introduction of additional services such as:

  • a weekly organics (green bin) collection
  • placement of organics bins (green bins) in parks and reserves
  • innovative waste management services for Multi Development Units (MUDs).

Other equal part-owners of East Waste are the Cities of Prospect, Campbelltown, Burnside, Mitcham, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, and the  Adelaide Hills and Walkerville Councils.

“East Waste provides Unley with a simple, flexible approach for organising and facilitating waste activities in a joint venture – or partnership-style – arrangement,” said Mayor Hewitson.

He said the proposal for the model appealed to Unley Council due to the opportunity to realise a range of direct benefits.

“Those include achieving economies of scale, strategic alignment and innovation, risk mitigation and public accountability in delivery of a critical community service of direct benefit to ratepayers, whilst remaining a service subject to the joint control and direction of the member Councils.”

East Waste’s Constituent Councils share the vision of a circular economy, the Mayor said.

“Nationally, food waste alone accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage all residents to use the green organics bin with kitchen waste becoming compost, and recycling bins – well used and well recycled – will reduce our costs, carbon footprint and help us keep rates low.”

Chair of East Waste, Fraser Bell said the company was equally pleased to be welcoming Unley as its newest member council.

“We are pleased to have the City of Unley join us as a member Council to add further strength to our organisation,” said Mr Bell.

“There is strong alignment between East Waste’s strategic vision and the City of Unley’s, and this will serve to further drive positive environmental, social, and circular economy outcomes for all Councils. The team is geared up and ready to provide a high-quality service to Unley residents,” he said.

Effective from 1 August 2022, all of Unley Council’s waste management services will be provided by East Waste. Council has confirmed there will be no operational changes for residents or businesses operators – and no change to services currently provided, although pick-up times may vary.

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