The collection and disposal of rubbish and recycling is one of those services we sometimes take for granted. We don't tend to give it much thought as week in week out what we put out for collection is taken away and dealt with quickly and efficiently.
When Council reviewed its waste minimisation plan one thing that came through clearly from residents was a call to look at providing a wheelie bin service. I can understand the desire from residents to have our rubbish and recycling collection as user-friendly as possible. Councillors were also keen to see if we could respond to customer demand and provide the type of service called for.
Earlier this year we started the review process, asking residents to complete a survey on rubbish and recycling collection. We received over 2,000 responses with a range of preferences and plenty of ideas for the Council to follow up on.
The survey responses showed some clear trends. A majority of residents want a wheelie bin service but there remains a significant number who prefer to retain the bag collection for rubbish. Residents want to recycle more and a larger wheelie bin option was seen as a good way to do that. A majority of people want an organics collection added but few are willing to pay the additional cost.
Council staff then had the task of taking the survey responses and finding a service option that best fits our needs as a community. What they came up with is an approach that combines the best of both worlds – a larger wheelie bin for recycling, a crate for glass that keeps it separate and means our recycling isn't contaminated with broken glass, and a choice of either bag or wheelie bin for rubbish. We have called this the "Hybrid system".
The Hybrid system is all about choice and flexibility – it accommodates different people's needs and expectations.
The proposed option helps reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by offering better recycling opportunities. With the amount of waste going to landfill increasing in recent years, we have to be smart about how we deal with this - for the long-term good of the community and the environment.
A pamphlet detailing the proposed approach will be delivered to homes around the 21st of August. It includes a submission form for you to tell us what you think of the proposal and how you think we might be able to make it even better. It also shows the other two other options that were shortlisted – one that uses wheelie bins for rubbish and recycling and a crate for glass or keeping the current collection system.
We really want to hear from as many residents and business owners as possible. If you support the proposed option, let us know; if you don't want that one but support one of the other options, make sure you get your submission in and tell us that.
You can also go to the Council website for the full proposal and further information. The survey earlier this year shows we are keen as a community to get this right. Make sure you have say again in the full consultation and help us make the right decision for our future.