In a move that has shocked Victorian residents, several local councils are debating reducing garbage collection services to fortnightly collections. This move has been prompted due to organic matter (ie food scraps) making up about one third of Melbourne Rubbish taken to landfill. The idea would be to replace the weekly general bin collection with a separate food and garden waste bin to be collected each week and converted into compost. A report by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group noted that this would result in a reduction of council rates and act as a catalyst for higher levels of recycling in Victorian homes.
Does Lane Cove need to make a move like this?
The simple answer is NO.
Lane Cove Council, along with four other councils in the Northern Sydney Region, send the content of red–lidded waste bins to a purpose-built Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility at Woodlawn, south of Sydney.
The facility is managed by Veolia who are responsible for transforming the waste from red-lidded bins in Lane Cove into useful compost for environmental rehabilitation. Based on waste audit data, it is expected that approximately 50-60% of the waste received will be diverted from landfill. After the organic material is recovered and converted into compost, remaining waste is delivered to a bioreactor for further energy recovery.
This waste processing technology requires a certain percentage of waste in the red bin to be organic to assist with the composting that is processed. This contributes to Council’s current waste diversion rate of 64% on average per month.
The diagram below explains how the system converts waste into compost which is then used in the mine rehabilitation of the former Woodlawn mine, near Goulburn.
ITC spoke to Lane Cove Council Mayor Pam Palmer who told us that on the whole Lane Cove residents were embracing recycling. She did say that the biggest issue is plastic and where possible she would like Lane Cove residents to buy goods not wrapped in plastic. Reducing our plastic consumption is the number one priority for Lane Cove Council. They will soon be working with local businesses to swap plastic straws to paper straws or only providing a straw if requested by the customer.
Local retailers like The Source Bulk Foods Lane Cove and Go Vita Lane Cove sell aluminium straws. Go Vita Lane Cove also sells biodegradable doggie poop bags. One ITC roving reporter advised that Coles no longer sells doggie poop bags.
Soft Plastic Recycling
The ITC family has a little recycling station set up at home. One box for paper, one bucket for glasses and cans and one bag for soft plastic recycling. We take the soft plastic recycling up to Woolworths and place in the REDcycle bin. Since we have started this system, our red bin is never full.
There is a REDcycle bin at both Woolworths and Coles Lane Cove.
If you want to know how to recycle other items in Lane Cove read more here.
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