Budget hike on waste disposal costs concerning: sustainability group

FREE WASTE: A local sustainability group is fearful of the growing strain on Bendigo landfill sites, with no long-term plans in place to recycle all of the city’s waste.
FREE WASTE: A local sustainability group is fearful of the growing strain on Bendigo landfill sites, with no long-term plans in place to recycle all of the city’s waste.

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A local sustainability group is fearful of the growing strain on Bendigo landfill sites, with no long-term plans in place to recycle all of the city’s waste. 

In its draft budget 2017/18 the City of Greater Bendigo introduced marked increases in waste disposal fees, including; disposal fees at Eaglehawk Landfill up $5/tonne to $170/t, and a 94 per cent jump in mattress disposal costs at the site.  

The city currently has no plans to introduce a hard rubbish collection service, despite a serving councillor recently suggesting it was time the city “had a conversation” about the possibility of introducing it.

The stark reality was Bendigo was running out of holes to put rubbish in, according to Bendigo Sustainability Group president Chris Weir.

“The reality is there are people who want to get rid off stuff and how can they do that?” he said. 

“I am concerned there's no collections going on because there’s a lot of people that don’t have the transport or option to take it to the tip.”

Mr Weir said his group had not had any discussions with the City of Greater Bendigo about alternative rubbish solutions.

“What other ways can we deal with this waste, not all of it can be recycled,” he said.

No local, commercial organisations currently recycled household waste items, like mattresses, Mr Weir said.

Australia’s first automated mattress recycling facility opened in Melbourne’s West late last year. 

The facility will help recycle upwards of 300,000 mattresses disposed of each year in Melbourne and Greater Geelong. 

“Why isn’t there somebody that's operating that kind of service in Bendigo,” said Mr Weir, who suggested Bendigo could learn from overseas recycling practices where waste was used to create energy.

A Bendigo ‘repair cafe’, a community-driven initiative designed to give objects designed for landfill a second lease on life, may open in April.