Yarra considers four bin kerbside waste collection

Friday 14 February 2020

Council will be considering a report on Tuesday 18 February that explores options for a four bin kerbside waste and recycling service, where a decision is being sought on a preferred option.

City of Yarra Mayor, Cr Misha Coleman said that the officer recommended option is for weekly household food and organic waste and fortnightly waste, paper/plastics and glass recycling collections.

“Yarra has long been a leader in environmental sustainability and responding to the climate emergency and this proposal is consistent with that commitment,” said Cr Coleman.

“The recommendation is based on the very successful trial of this model with 1300 households in Abbotsford since June 2019 and would see Yarra Council be one of only a handful of Victorian councils that have taken a significant step to change the way their community manages waste.”

“The proposed changes introduce a new food and green waste collection service that would be collected weekly, removing much of the material that causes odours, just like the previous garbage collection service.

“We started this trial because recycling in Australia is in trouble. It’s time we did things very, very differently and councils like ours are providing the leadership to drive change in this industry.”

The report to council identifies the benefits of changing Yarra’s kerbside waste and recycling collection service include reducing waste sent to landfill, increasing the quality of recyclable materials, and reducing truck movements around our city, which will reduce vehicle emissions.

“The trial has seen a dramatic reduction in waste going to landfill – diverting about 60% of their waste from landfill.”

Feedback from trial participants has been positive and demonstrates a willingness in the Yarra community to take a new approach to managing our waste.

“We’ve surveyed over 400 residents in the trial area. Almost 80% told us they think these changes are an improvement in managing waste and just under 90% support separating their waste for collection.”

The proposal being considered includes the cost implications of each of the options and does not directly relate to council’s mid-year budget review.

“While our mid-year budget review reports an $8.3m surplus – to suggest council is swimming in cash would be a misrepresentation of the figures.

“The fact is $3.7m is open space contributions which must be used for future open space projects. Another $4.1m is grant income, which is attributed to specific projects or purposes. These funds are not available for discretionary expenditure.

“Council is committed to maintaining a fiscally responsible budget,” Cr Coleman.

If Council proceeds with one of the options presented, officers will closely monitor implementation to identify and respond to issues, particularly around any change to the collection frequency of general waste. We will be working with residents and property managers to ensure we can find the right bin options to suit their needs, including families with babies. We will would also offer a range of bin sizes to resident who need more capacity.

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