Bold and effective

Perth’s City of Nedlands has set itself an ambitious target:

By 2020, the Council plans to divert 65 per cent of its waste from landfill, up from 49 per cent in 2016, without redirecting the cost back to ratepayers. To help it get there, it has developed a new Waste Minimisation Strategy that will see it become the first local government to adopt new technologies to recycle compacted verge-hard waste, in addition to increased community education.

Mayor Max Hipkins says recycling group, West Tip Waste Control, has been appointed to the task after a competitive tender process.

“The [tender] for the bulk collection and disposal services has managed to achieve projected savings of approximately $65,000* annually,” he explains.

At the core of the winning tender is West Tip Waste Control’s new Resource Recovery Plant, which will enable the City to recover household furniture, white goods and metal products with minimal contamination. At the plant, he says, all waste brought in from collection vehicles will undergo an initial inspection for non-conforming items, which will be followed by an extraction of oversized items. Recyclables will then undergo a multi-stage segregation process.

The Mayor expects that with the help of West Tip Waste Control, about 765 tonnes of hard waste will be diverted from landfill and recycled each year, putting the City closer to achieving its target. To make full use of the new Plant, he adds the Council will focus on reducing illegal dumping by offering two bulk verge collection services per year, delivered directly to West Tip Waste Control’s site.

It also allows commercial and business precincts to receive kerbside waste and recycling collection on request. Knowing a successful resource recovery strategy must be holistic in nature, Mayor Hipkins says the ongoing risk of contaminated household recycling continues to pose challenges to the community, too – especially with green waste and putrescible (general) bin services, which are part of the City’s three-bin set-up.

Under the three-bin system, the City provides weekly putrescible waste collections, as well as green waste and recycling services operating on alternating fortnights.

“The first bin works very well, but there’s a contamination issue with the second, recycling bin,” he explains. “Over 80 per cent of residents are using the small putrescible rubbish bin, while 21 per cent use the complimentary second recycling bin.”

To raise that ratio, all bins are colour coded and stickers are given out to say what can go in them. Additional education in the eld is meant to help the Council reinforce the message.

“I think it’s really tackling the whole of the waste stream. In the past, councils have concentrated on the obvious things,” he says. “We’re trying to raise(the public’s awareness whenever they put things in the bin. If it’s a bigger item, we’re making them think about what happens to it.”

Mayor Hipkins says the City’s new Strategy will build on the highly successful previous one, which led to 49 percent of waste being diverted from landfill with minimal contamination, for example by introducing a separate collection service for e-waste and mattresses, and completing an independent waste audit in 2014.

To read more, see page 30 of Issue 10.