Hard waste collection shelved

28 October 2014

AlburyCity will not reintroduce a hard waste kerbside collection service, agreeing instead to continue with the free-entry voucher system.

Council agreed at its meeting this week to maintain the status quo after receiving a report outlining the practicalities and costs of reintroducing kerbside hard waste collection.

The report showed that the reintroduction of the hard waste kerbside collection service would potentially halve waste recovery rates, reduce the lifespan of the Albury Waste Management Centre (AWMC) and be more expensive than the current system.

Council discontinued the service in 2009 and instead offers ratepayers four free entry vouchers to the AWMC every year.

"It's quite clear that the current voucher system makes economic and environmental sense," Mayor Cr Kevin Mack said. "All over Australia councils are moving away from the kerbside hard waste collection services because we have recognised that they are inefficient, costly and devastating to recycling efforts."

"We have strong environmental targets. The voucher system encourages residents to take responsibility for their waste, to sort it correctly and recycle it appropriately at the various sections of the AWMC."

"Kerbside collection doesn't allow this to happen. As a result, items that could have been recovered or recycled end up in landfill and this is what we're trying to avoid."

The report also found that kerbside hard waste collection leads to scavenging, liability issues and can impact pedestrian and potentially motorist accessibility. It also presents significant disposal problems when difficult waste such as paints and chemicals are left out for collection.

"At a time when we are trying to extend the useable life of our waste management centre, re-introducing a kerbside hard waste collection service that would disrupt our recycling efforts and increase the amount of waste going to landfill to 137,000 tonnes per year would completely undermine our efforts and investment."

"Arguments that the voucher system leads to increased illegal dumping also don't stack up. The evidence actually suggests that since the introduction of the voucher system illegal dumping has remained stable."

For those who cannot get to the tip or who have been previously disadvantaged by the discontinuation of kerbside hard waste collection, Council offers a home based collection service. This is an eligibility based service and people without transport, hold a concession card, have a disability or require assistance could be entitled to the service. Please contact AlburyCity on 6023 8111 to find out more information.