Joondalup council unanimously approves introduction of three-bin waste system


Picture: Martin Kennealey d480606
Picture: Martin Kennealey d480606

THE Joondalup council unanimously approved the future introduction of a three-bin waste system across the City at its meeting last night.

Likely to be rolled out early in 2019, the system is part of the City’s commitment to meet the State Government’s target of diverting 65 per cent of waste from landfill by 2020.

It will include a 140-litre red-lid general waste bin collected weekly, a 240-litre lime green-lid garden waste bin collected fortnightly and a 240-litre or 360-litre yellow-lid recycling bin collected on the alternate fortnight.

It is expected there will be no change to the 2018-19 household waste charge compared to this financial year if households choose the 140-litre red-lid general waste bin.

Residents can opt for a 240-litre red-lid bin, however households with a 140-litre bin will have a lower refuse charge by about $80 to $90 per year.

This will be confirmed as part of the 2018-19 budget process.

The lime green-lid bin can be used for materials including lawn clippings, small branches, leaves and flowers, tree prunings, cuttings and weeds.

The three-bin system is in line with Better Bins Kerbside Collection Guidelines, which have been developed by the Waste Authority of WA to help local governments increase diversion from landfill.

The City will now apply to the Waste Authority for a grant of up to $1.8 million to help implement the three-bin system.

This would be phased in suburb by suburb and is expected to be completed by the end of the 2018-19 financial year.

At the meeting, Mayor Albert Jacob said he had the privilege of being on the council just over 10 years ago when the City first implemented the two-bin system.

“It remains to this day one of the things I’m proudest of in my first time around this table,” he said.

He said implementing the three-bin system would be one of the most significant reforms the City would undertake.

“This will affect every one of our 161,000 residents,” he said.

“It is almost the only area where the City directly interacts with every one of its ratepayers on a weekly basis.”

He said there were “significant environmental benefits”, with separate bins for general waste, recyclables and garden organics viewed as best practice for higher rates of diversion from landfill.

“By limiting the burden on disposing waste via landfill, where costs are increasing annually, it will also help the City save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year as well as preventing significant rises to the residents’ refuse charge,” he said.

“The costs of disposing waste at landfill is significantly more than it is to recycle and has increased from $120 per tonne in 2013-14 to $180 per tonne in 2017-18.

“This is forecast to rise even further in the coming years.”

Councillor Nige Jones questioned how a $5.7 million project with a potential $1.8 million grant could not result in a rise in the household waste charge.

Infrastructure services director Nico Claassen said the City had a waste reserve that would fund the $5.7 million capital cost and if the grant was approved, this would be reduced to $3.9 million.

Cr Russell Poliwka commended the City for having such a significant reserve fund to make the initiative possible and to “take away some of the financial burden that may have occurred”.

Cr Russ Fishwick said implementing the three-bin system was a “no brainer”, while Cr Mike Norman said he believed a smaller 140-litre red-lid bin “coupled with a financial incentive for those that can manage with that size of bin” would encourage residents to reduce the amount of general waste they produce.

“In my experience, with a bit of knowledge and innovation even a family with a few kids can reduce their general waste to fit into a 140-litre bin, especially given there are two other bins for garden green waste and recyclables,” he said.

“However, the system will require residents to be disciplined in ensuring waste is correctly separated before being placed in each bin.”

He also acknowledged there was “more of a challenge” implementing the system for multi-unit developments but the City would be “developing service options to cater for that”.

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