WASTE collection company Cleanaway will not reveal details of contracts with the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup following reports the cost of recycling may increase.
An ABC report this week revealed that if local governments didn’t agree to higher recycling fees, Cleanaway might be forced to send recyclables to landfill or stop collecting kerbside bins.
The news came after China, Australia’s biggest buyer of recyclable materials, stopped importing solid waste in an effort to reduce pollution.
The move meant that commodity prices dropped, causing some waste collectors to have to pay for recyclables to be taken away and that cost passed to local governments.
According to the ABC, Cleanaway had been negotiating with 20 local governments across the state since February, but hadn’t made headway with three of them, listing Wanneroo and Joondalup as two of them.
Community News contacted both councils, which cumulatively produce 33,000 tonnes of recyclables per annum, for comment and received individual statements saying their contracts were confidential and couldn’t be discussed publicly.
The statement from Wanneroo said the City had a receiving and processing contract in place with Cleanaway for residents’ recycling materials and that details of this “active contract and its commercial terms” were confidential.
“The City expects Cleanaway to continue receiving and processing recycling materials from our residents’ kerbside bins, as per the agreement currently in place,” it read.
The statement from Joondalup read, “The City has a processing contract in place with Cleanaway and the details of the commercial agreements and negotiations are confidential”.
Cleanaway’s WA Solid Waste Services general manager David Williamson told the ABC Cleanaway had proposed a four-fold increase in processing fees to shoulder the cost increase, which it argued was still far less than what it was paying.
“If they choose not to engage then we can’t continue to have these exorbitant costs imposed on us to deliver that service to them and their councils,” he said.
“The cost of recycling is going up.
“We’re talking something like less than 10 per cent for most councils.
“And if you extrapolate that out to what it would mean for a resident, it would be two or three per cent to their annual rates.”