As a local council, one of the biggest ways we can make real environmental change is through our waste services. We’re excited to announce our new strategy for increasing recycling and setting a path to becoming a zero waste city. At the moment, residents generate 65,000 tonnes of waste every year. 69% is diverted from landfill. We want to take it to 90% by the year 2030.
At the core of this is redefining waste as a valuable resource – not landfill. We are helping businesses choose more sustainable waste management solutions, looking at recycling systems for public spaces and upgrading our depots. We also have 4 new services for residents in mind that will start by 2019.
1. Weekly electronic waste collection
Our quarterly e-waste collection days have been incredibly popular. But it is not easy for people to drop off their goods if they don’t have access to a car. We’re proposing a weekly kerbside e-waste collection to recycle valuable metals such as aluminium and copper. This will also keep the harmful chemicals used in mobile phones, old computers and TVs, out of landfill sites.
2. An opt-in trial of residential food waste collection
Food waste takes up around a third of your average red bin. This is separated at sorting facilities and used to create a low-grade compost. We will offer residents an opt-in food waste collection service. This will be used to create a high-quality fertiliser for organic farming and to create green electricity.
3. Community drop-off centres for problem rubbish types
What to do with chemicals, paints, batteries, gas bottles and other weird types of rubbish? We will look to set up dedicated drop-off centres.
4. Clothing collection in apartment buildings
Changing fashion trends and cheaper clothing have led to a growth in textiles waste – they now account for 5% of the average red bin (that’s 12 kilos per household every year). With three quarters of us now living in apartment buildings, there’s an opportunity to collect thousands of tonnes of textiles that can be recycled and used to create new products. We will start this work by investigating textiles collection in apartment buildings (although we have some projects in place already).
If adopted by Council, the plan will be implemented from 2019. We also have a strong track-record of waste management. This includes weekly separated recycling and fortnightly garden waste collection, mattress recycling, bulky waste collection and light bulb, battery and mobile phone drop-off points in libraries.