Sunday, May 19, 2013

Improving waste and recycling services

At tomorrow night's Council meeting agenda item 9.3 relates to a review of Council's free hard rubbish kerbside collection service. It also identifies future improvements/terms as recommended in the upcoming tender process.
The changes suggested especially in relation to ewaste are very welcome and I will be encouraging my collegues to support all the considerations and recommendations-Full details in item 9.3 on Council website - see under links.

From the agenda papers the review has found-
"There is high level of community satisfaction with Council’s Waste Management Services generally.Some people, however, would like Council to better address the issue of hard and illegal dumped rubbish on naturestrips.
The waste industry generally considers Council’s current method of hard rubbish collection best practice.
No other method of hard rubbish collection appears to provide a better deterrent to illegal rubbish dumping.

In retendering Council’s hard rubbish service, Council should consider:
o Options to increase recycling of hard and dumped rubbish
o Including ewaste recycling in the hard rubbish collection service
Recent changes to Federal Government legislation requires suppliers of electronic equipment to now fund the recycling of televisions and computers. These changes have reduced the cost of Council providing Ewaste collection days from about $120,000 to $55,000.
o Ways to increase proactive reporting of illegal dumped rubbish to reduce time
between dumping and removal
o Extending the hard rubbish collection service to working days over the
Christmas / New Year period.

That Council:
i. Continue with the current hard rubbish collection service method: on call,
presented on the naturestrip.
ii. Retender its Hard Rubbish Collection Service to
a. Include options for greater recycling of the rubbish as outlined in this paper
b. Include options for proactive reporting of dumped rubbish
c. Extend collection days to include all working days over the Christmas/New Year Period.
iii. Move to a kerbside collection of ewaste in 2013-14 ($120,000 already allowed in draft 2013-14 Budget for ewaste collection."


  1. Hi Neil.
    When the annual waste collection days were changed to the current system the CEO acknowledged to me that the main reason for the change was cost. The "on demand" system was preferred because it cost less than the annual waste collection days.
    Now the only way it could cost less would be that it collects less waste. I can't see how an on demand system could be cheaper if it collected the same amount of waste. Have you done any comparisons on the amount of waste collected by the two methods?
    Collecting less waste means that it is a less effective system.
    I have used the current service a number of times and it does work well. But I'm not sure that it is the most effective system in terms of removing waste.
    If you are serious about waste collection wouldn't the main criteria be how effective it is?

  2. Hi Neil. Two questions in my last post. I'd be very interested to hear your answers.

  3. Thanks Glenhuntly for your input- there are a no. of factors why most Councils have moved to an on-call system not just cost but also effectiveness, flexibilty and convenience,as the section reprinted below from the May 20th agenda . On balance I feel the present system is superior and more effective:

    "Fixed date collection versus booked on-call collection
    Many councils have reviewed hard rubbish collection services within the last few years.
    Where councils have reviewed services, most have elected to move from fixed date
    collections to on-call booked collections. This suggests that for many communities, an
    on-call booked collection is best practice.
    Overall, both methods have benefits and drawbacks in regards to amenity, and neither
    dealt with dumped rubbish entirely. On balance, the review recommended continuing
    with the current on-call collection system because
     In general fixed date collection service appears to be no better at reducing the
    incident of illegal dumping to achieve “neater” naturestrips.
     Changing the system is disruptive to residents in itself.
     A fixed date collection would cost about 10 per cent more than on call.
     Other councils report problems with fixed date collections of ‘organised’
    scavenging and ‘dumping’ of rubbish from out of the City area.
     An on-call system is likely to be slightly better for areas with high numbers of
    units, which are often dumped rubbish “hotspots” and often tenanted.
     There is not a clear preference of residents. Some would prefer a fixed date
    collection, but others prefer on-call."