Ratepayers’ waste service preferences are seemingly at odds with the City of Greater Bendigo’s, results of a waste survey reveal.
Recycling, hard rubbish and organic bin collections are the three conflicting areas the council is grappling with as part of its waste review.
Almost 5000 residents completed the survey with just under 70 per cent of those suggesting their recycling bin was three quarters to full each fortnight.
Related:City coy on organics extension
A further 41 per cent of respondents said they put recycling in general waste when their bin was full, which happened every other fortnight.
Despite this, when given the choice of which bin they would choose to be collected on a weekly basis – 54 per cent sided with the general waste bin while 30 per cent opted for recycling.
“We would have liked for a weekly collection for recycling because we're continuing to move recyclable material more often,” Bendigo council’s resource recovery and education manager Brooke Pearce said.
Ms Pearce suggested putting incorrect materials in bins was a “cultural issue” that required education.
“We don't think a lot of people do it intentionally,” she said.
A weekly recycling and general waste collection could not coexist under the current waste charge structure, she said.
Council waste charges are excluded from the state rate cap meaning the cost of increasing the frequency of services would be passed onto ratepayers.
Hard rubbish collection was a popular idea in the survey, with almost 80 per cent in favour of the service.
However Ms Pearce said data showed only 40 per cent of hard rubbish material was recoverable, meaning the rest would head to landfill – an area which is currently under pressure with Eaglehawk landfill set to close in 2021.
There was no budget allocation in the 2018-19 financial year for a hard waste service, with the council considering providing support to existing non-for-profit groups who operate in the space.
Two thirds of survey respondents did not want the organic service extended to their properties, results which “surprised” Ms Pearce.
As of July last year, around 38,011 urban residents had an organics service, while 3500 applied for an exemption to the service – 2,989 of which were granted.
The service roll out caused consternation among some residents, who were unhappy at the additional $63 per year in rates they had to pay for the new service.
The council remains undecided on whether to expand the service and may extend the free green waste disposal at the Eaglehawk Landfill on weekends to a year-round offering.
Results of the survey include
- 69.78% said their recycling bin was three quarters to full each fortnight
- 33.59% said their general waste bin was three quarters to full each week while 18.99% said theirs was empty to quarter full each week
- 54.51% said if only one bin could be collected on a weekly basis they would choose their general waste bin while 30.75% said their recycling bin and 14.7% said their organics bin
- 77.95% said they wanted a hard waste collection and of these 45.65% said they wanted a blanket service paid for by all ratepayers while 42.97% said they wanted a user pays service
- 94.67% said they understood what should and should not be placed in each bin however 56.72% said they felt the community don’t understand what they should or shouldn’t place in each bin.
Bendigo council waste review survey 2017