The Future of Waste
Golden Plains Shire Council is preparing a new Waste Management Strategy 2020-2030 and all Shire residents are encouraged to be involved in the discussion on the future of local waste management.
With a new 10-year waste management plan in the works and Council soon to go out to tender for a new services contract, it’s a great time to talk about future waste collection options for Golden Plains in 2022 and beyond.
Have Your Say on Waste
A simple community survey about future waste options is open now until Friday 25 October, 2019.
The survey is available online at Council’s website: goldenplains.vic.gov.au/consultations. A paper copy of the survey will be printed in the October issue of the Gazette, Council’s community magazine which is delivered free to every home and business in the Shire; with copies of the paper survey also available at Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bannockburn, Linton and Smythesdale.
All community members are welcome to attend a Waste Management Strategy conversation post to speak with Council officers and complete the survey:
- Meredith Corner Store, 17 Wallace Street, Meredith – 9am to 12pm, Saturday 21 September
- Golden Plains Farmers’ Market, 22 Byron Street, Bannockburn – 8.30am to 12.30pm, Saturday 5 October.
- Rokewood Transfer Station, 141 Meadows Road – 11am to 2pm, Sunday 13 October
- Smythesdale Country Market – 9am to 1pm, Saturday 19 October
Council will also run a waste workshop in September with a focus group of residents who are community planners or members of the Community Engagement Register. All community feedback will be presented to Council for consideration as part of the Draft Waste Management Strategy in late 2019.
Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey said that waste management is a top priority for Shire residents and Council are keen to know if local communities are interested in green and food waste collections.
“As the population of Golden Plain Shire increases, so does the amount of waste generated in our municipality. It’s in everyone’s interests to make sure we have reliable, cost-effective and sustainable waste management in Golden Plains – and that means reducing the waste we put in the ground.
“The war on waste is a headlining news story and many Australians are taking important measures in their everyday lives to make a positive difference on this serious environmental issue, like taking green bags to the supermarket, bringing a keep cup for coffee or switching to paper straws. We understand and appreciate that solving the problem begins at home – and that what we do in our own backyard matters.
“Our neighbouring municipalities have garden and food waste services and we want to give Golden Plains Shire residents the same opportunity to consider if they support these options for our future waste management.
“Council has done the research and painted a clear picture of four new waste collection services for our Shire and now, most importantly, we need to know what the community wants. Waste management is one of the core services of Council and we appreciate that people have strong views on the subject, so I really encourage everyone to complete the survey and make sure that their opinion counts.”
Five Options for Future Waste Management
The Council Plan 2017-2021 makes a clear commitment to continue reducing the waste our Shire sends to landfill. Five years ago, Golden Plains Shire Council had one of the state’s lowest diversion of waste to landfill rates at just 23%. In 2015, the service change to fortnightly waste and weekly recycling collections improved that figure to the current rate of 38%. However, the Golden Plains rate is still significantly lower than the state average for diversion of 46%.
So, what are the future options for waste management in Golden Plains Shire? Garden and food waste makes up 48% of material in local garbage bins. Our neighbouring municipalities have additional services that better sort household waste before collection, delivering more successful and productive outcomes and reducing the waste that goes to landfill. These services, such as garden waste and food waste collection, come with an additional annual cost to households as part of the Waste Management Charge (a fee which is cost recovery, meaning all money collected by the charge can only be used for waste services).
As part of the Draft Waste Management Strategy, Council has mapped out the details of four future options for garden and food waste collection services, with models servicing all of the Shire and also sewered only properties in Bannockburn. There is also the option for residents to express their support for continuing the current service model of waste and recycling collection.
Why is there a Bannockburn only option? Many rural residents on larger properties have their own solutions for garden and food waste including compost and burning off, however in the bins of sewered properties in Bannockburn, 27% of the material is garden waste and 21% food waste. Running one or both of these collections in the Shire’s largest town alone would be cost effective and divert a significant amount of waste to landfill.
Fast Facts on Waste in Golden Plains Shire
In October 2018, more than 1,200 residents shared their thoughts and ideas on Council’s Waste Management Survey. This community feedback informed the development of the Draft Consultation Paper which featured the four new waste options.
Feedback from last year’s waste survey:
- 73% of survey respondents supported Council’s strategic plan to reduce waste to landfill
- 68% of survey respondents said they have a positive level of satisfaction with Council’s garbage collection service.
In late 2018, an audit of the contents of household garbage bins in Golden Plains Shire showed that:
- Both the urban and rural garbage bins had a similar volume of organic (food and garden) waste at 48%.
- The urban garbage bins have a much higher proportion of garden waste with 27.4% than rural bins with 6.3%.
One-fifth of material in the garbage bins was recyclable.