What is the new service?
Residential customers will get new kerbside bins. These new kerbside bins will meet the Australian standard of bin lid colours and will remove the older and heavier bins from service. Residential customers will receive a:
- 240L Green lid Food Organics and Garden Organics Bin (collected weekly)
- 240L Yellow lid recycling bin (collected fortnightly)
- 140L Red lid general waste bin (collected fortnightly)
- 7L kitchen caddy and supply of compostable liners
This new service will increase bin capacity by 140L over the collection fortnight when compared to the current service.
Wagga Wagga City Council will work with households to ensure the correct separation of waste in the standard service. However provisions will be made for residents with additional waste management needs.
Commercial customers will receive new recycling bins shortly after the start of the new service, however general waste bins will not be changed at this stage.
New opportunities to sort your waste
Food waste will now be disposed of through the green lid Food Organics and Garden Organics Bin that will be collected weekly.
Residents will receive a small kitchen caddy and compostable liners to assist households to separate their food waste in the kitchen and transport the food scraps to the Food Organics and Garden Organics bin.
Waste such as meal leftovers, meat, chicken, fish, dairy, small bones, paper towel, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, tea bags, coffee grounds and bread, along with garden waste, can all be disposed of through a food organics and garden organics collection system.
New collection frequency
The 240L green lid Food Organics and Garden Organics bin will be collected weekly, whilst the yellow lid recycling bin and red lid general waste bin will be collected fortnightly.
This new service will increase bin capacity for residents by 140L over the fortnightly collection schedule when compared to the current service.
New Household Hard Waste Collection
The new service will see the introduction of a household hard waste collection. This will assist residents with the disposal of larger items that cannot fit in the regular kerbside service and who have had difficulty accessing Free Tip Day events. The final Free Tip Day will be held on Sunday 20 May 2018.
What are the benefits of the new service?
Benefits of the new service include:
- Increased fortnightly collection capacity from 720L to at least 860L
- More than half of the bin weight of Wagga's general waste bins are currently made up of food organics which currently goes to landfill, under the new service this will now be diverted from landfill and composted instead
- Reducing the frequency of constructing expensive, multi-million dollar waste cells
- Mitigating against potential cost increases associated with sending waste to landfill including the introduction of a Regional Waste Levy and reducing the impact of the potential reintroduction of a carbon price
- Adhering to Council's commitment to economic and environmental sustainability
- Offsetting ongoing management costs at the Gregadoo Waste Management Centre
Why are we evolving?
There are a number of reasons why Council has taken this proactive approach to kerbside waste management. These include:
Commitment to reducing waste to landfill
Disposal of waste in landfill should be seen as the last resort.
Waste generation in Australia is growing exponentially to population growth with 2 tonnes of waste generated for each Australian every year*. It is not sustainable to keep generating and disposing of waste at current levels and measures need to be implemented to address this.
The introduction of a combined Food Organics and Garden Organics collection service will remove a complete waste stream, food waste, from being disposed of in landfill. Audits have demonstrated that more than half of the waste disposed in the average household garbage bin by weight has the potential to be recovered through a Food Organics and Garden Organic collection service.Commitment to addressing waste management proactively
Wagga Wagga City Council's Community Strategic Plan 2040 identifies the need to manage waste proactively to meet the objective of creating a sustainable environment for future generations. This plan was developed as a result of significant community consultation.
Council is committed to providing the best service to achieve both environmental and economic efficiencies. The diversion of food organics from landfill is the way many Councils are looking to do this and the establishment of a new contract had provided the opportunity for Council to assess waste practices and look to continually improve on these for the future.
The implementation of Food Organics and Garden Organics collections has already commenced at 27 other Councils in New South Wales. A further five Councils are set to introduce a Food Organics and Garden Organics service in 2018. Wagga Wagga City Council has benefited greatly from the experiences of these other Councils who have generously shared their knowledge with staff through the investigation and planning of this service.
Commitment to reducing environmental impacts
Waste that is placed in the general waste bin is sent directly to landfill, which is essentially burying waste in the ground. The buried waste decomposes in an environment without oxygen. As a result, methane pollution is generated and released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change of which we are already experiencing the consequences of.
If organic material can be removed from the domestic waste stream and composted, the resulting material can be used as a soil enhancer for agricultural application. As composting requires oxygen, the main gas that is released is carbon dioxide, which has a lesser impact on the environment than methane.
Commitment to extending the life of community assets
Wagga Wagga City Council owns and manages the Gregadoo Waste Management Centre and the landfill cells that are contained at this site. The faster these cells are filled, the more frequently cells need to be constructed. A new cell can cost between $3-6 million and at current disposal rates a new cell needs to be built every 4 to 5 years. Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill will reduce the frequency at which cells need to be constructed and reduce the frequency of significant financial outlay.
Commitment to preempt potential price increases in the future
Traditionally landfilling waste has been the cheapest way to dispose of waste. The known impacts of landfill and the uncertainty around future price increases demonstrates that this practice is not sustainable and alternatives must be found. The following outlines potential price impacts of disposing of waste in landfill:
- A reduction of the amount of Food Organic and Garden Organic waste going into landfill in turn means Council will have less ongoing liability related to the monitoring and maintenance of the landfill cells.
- The NSW State Government may introduce a waste levy on landfill in our region. Metropolitan areas are already paying an additional $138.20 per tonne, and $79.60 per tonne for some regional areas, to dispose of waste in landfill. The aim of this levy is to reduce the amount waste being landfilled and to encourage recycling and resource recovery.
- A carbon price, or similar scheme, may be reintroduced in the future of which our landfill is liable. Projections under the previous carbon price scheme and current landfilling rates indicated Council would have been liable to pay around $900,000 per year.
Who will receive this new service?
All properties that pay a Domestic Waste Management Service Charge will be included in the new kerbside service. Residents under rental agreements within the collection area will automatically receive this service as this charge is payable by landlords. If you are unsure if your rented property will receive this service please contact Wagga Wagga City Council on 1300 292 442 or your rental agency.
Areas that were not included in the current contract that will form part of this new contract include: Lake Albert (expanded), Springvale (expanded), Uranquinty village, Cartwrights Hill, Brucedale Drive and Kapooka.
How much will this new service cost?
The annual Domestic Waste Management charge included on rates notices (currently set at $315 for serviced urban and rural residential properties) will be reviewed in line with the 2018/19 Fees and Charges Policy and 2019/29 Long Term Financial Plan. Council has also received a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust under its 'Waste Less, Recycle More' initiative to the value of $1.03 million to assist with the introduction of a Food and Garden Organics service in Wagga Wagga.