City of Hobart has partnered with Veolia for its kerbside green waste collections

All in the planning

Team engagement, community education and thorough planning have been key to the success of City of Hobart’s recent roll-out of kerbside green waste collections.

Tasmania may be small in size, but it’s becoming big in collecting and recycling organic wastes.

Covering an area less than one-twelfth the size of New South Wales, the island state has three major composting facilities and a number of smaller ones processing organic waste. All of these are open air windrow systems. As such, many Tasmanian residents are offered some form of organics waste collection or disposal service.

City of Hobart introduced a new kerbside green waste collection service this past May to 12,500 residential properties. One of the tasks under its Waste Management Strategy 2015-30 (the Strategy), it is regarded as a key factor to the council achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The council had previously run a twice-yearly kerbside green waste collection service, and currently offers five free entry weekend to McRobies Gully Waste Management Centre in South Hobart. However, it had experienced several issues. With such weighty pick-ups came manual handling risks. Moreover, there had been a limited number of contractors willing to provide the service, which was beginning to cost more, resulting in a reduced frequency of service. The level of resident participation had also started to decrease.

Nevertheless, the council was committed to offering and improving a green waste service for its residents.

A waste audit in September 2015 showed that green waste makes up 14 per cent and food waste 47 per cent of an average kerbside waste bin in the Hobart municipal area, both of which could be composted rather than sent to landfill.

David Holman, Manager – Cleansing & Solid Waste, has been with the council two years and led the team that introduced the new service.

“By providing a green waste bin, the council thought that a significant portion of this material will be removed from the waste stream, reducing the impacts on the City’s waste collection service, and, ultimately reducing waste to landfill and resulting emissions,” he says.

The preliminary aim of the Strategy was to introduce a kerbside collection service of green waste, while at the same time encouraging and supporting existing and new community gardens and home composting initiatives.

The planning phase

David’s team started working on the revamped green waste service in mid-2015.

He says they had several challenges to overcome in the preparations for roll-out.

First, they needed to predict how much green waste they would receive, as they had limited space for it at the compost facility. Calculations were made based on bin audits and how much was disposed of through the previous service. They estimated the new service would handle 1,700 tonnes of green waste each year, diverting the equivalent of 386 full garbage trucks of that material from landfill.

The next task was to determine the collection frequency.

To read more see page 34 of Issue 8.