NOTICE OF MOTION: IMPROVED STRATEGIES FOR WASTE
COUNCILLOR: M OSBORNE, M KING, M JACKSON
That Newcastle City Council requests the General Manager to investigate the following options as part of the Sustainability Review of waste services
a) Introducing an organic waste collection service
b) Increasing the frequency of the recycling collection service
c) Reducing the frequency of the landfill waste collection service and/or reducing the size of the bin
d) Increasing the waste budget share for waste minimisation strategies
e) Improvements to the bulky waste collection service
That Newcastle City Council requests the General Manager to bring a report back to Council on the options.
Late last year, the State Government announced that it is increasing the waste levy it imposes on Councils (see Attachment 1). From 1 July 2009, Newcastle will have to pay the State Government $50.50 for every tonne that goes to landfill at Summerhill. So any reduction in the amount of waste that goes to landfill will reduce the amount of money Newcastle Council has to pay the State Government.
Newcastle residents have been very good at increasing the amount of material that they recycle, to the point that the recycling bins of many households are often totally full whereas the landfill bins are half empty. The recycling collection could be increased from fortnightly to weekly and the landfill waste collection service reduced from weekly to fortnightly (or even monthly?).
At the same time, Newcastle Council could commence an organic waste collection service, to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, reduce the amount of money Newcastle Council has to pay the State Government and produce a compost that could be used on public parks and the like. The methane from the composting process could also be captured to produce electricity.
If Newcastle Council were to establish an organic waste collection service, then it should be investigated whether Newcastle Council could partner with other Lower Hunter councils to collect their organic waste. This would reduce some of the cost of the service for everyone.
According to the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, in 2005 70% of the Sydney Councils provide some type of scheduled kerbside collection service for garden organic material. According to information tabled in the NSW Parliament last year, the following Councils provide separate kerbside collection bins for green waste:
Albury City Council, Manly Council, Armidale Dumaresq Council, Marrickville Council, The Council of the Municipality of Ashfield, Mosman Municipal Council, Auburn Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Bankstown City Council, Nambucca Shire Council, Bega Valley Shire Council, North Sydney Council, Bellingen Shire Council, Parramatta City Council, The Council of the City of Botany Bay, Pittwater Council, Broken Hill City Council, Port Macquarie–Hastings Council, Burwood Council, Queanbeyan City Council, Camden Council, Randwick City Council, Campbelltown City Council, Ryde City Council, City of Canada Bay Council, Shellharbour City Council, City of Canterbury, Shoalhaven City Council, Clarence Valley Council, Strathfield Municipal Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Sutherland Shire Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Council of the City of Sydney, Gosford City Council, Tamworth Regional Council, Gunnedah Shire Council, Tweed Shire Council, The Council of the Shire of Hornsby, Wagga Wagga City Council, The Council of the Municipality of Hunters Hill, Warringah Council, Hurstville City Council, Waverley Council, The Council of the Municipality of Kiama, Willoughby City Council, Kogarah Municipal Council, Wollondilly Shire Council, Ku-ring-gai Council, Wollongong City Council, Lane Cove Municipal Council, Woollahra Municipal Council, Leichhardt Municipal Council, Wyong Shire Council and Lismore City Council.
The information tabled in the NSW Parliament also noted that in 2006-07, 98.26% of the green waste collected was recycled and beneficially reused, saving almost 300,000 tonnes in that year from going to landfill.
A brief survey of the waste services that some other Councils provide is shown at Attachment 2.
Many in the community have concerns about the unsightliness of the bulky waste collection service, when rubbish is left for weeks on the kerbside and not picked up. There are also health and safety issues for workers and local residents.