'Rubbish will be left in the street': Fears over radical new bin collection plan

·News Reporter


Melbourne households could soon find their rubbish bin collections cut in half, with councils being urged to move to fortnightly pickups in what would be a major shake-up to the existing system.

Councils are reportedly open to the idea of scaling back collection services, with some already starting consultations with their ratepayers about the possible change.

With food scraps making up roughly one third of the 878,000 tonnes of Melbourne rubbish taken to landfill last year, the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group are now suggesting food and garden waste be collected in a separate bin each week and converted to compost.

As well as cutting back council rates, the report suggested that the collection overhaul would encourage higher levels of recycling among households.

Melbourne households could find their rubbish bin collection rates cut back by 50 per cent. Image: Getty
Melbourne households could find their rubbish bin collection rates cut back by 50 per cent. Image: Getty

“Improving recovery of food organics is a priority for state and local government because food organics are highly putrescible and contain nutrients and energy which are lost when disposed of at landfill,” the report, Introducing a Kerbside Food and Garden Organics Collection Service, said.

“Decomposition produces odours, leachate and greenhouse gases which can adversely affect community amenity, the environment and public health.”

‘It will hurt the community’

The suggestion to cut back rubbish collection by 50 per cent, while beneficial in theory, would create major difficulties for larger households, 3AW’s Tom Elliot told Sunrise.

Elliot said there are certain households that would suffer dearly from the change.

“Let’s say you have a couple of small babies and you are putting these nappies in the bin, a fortnightly collection will not work… it is a service, basic sanitation,” he told Sunrise.

In 2016-17, councils in metropolitan Melbourne sent an estimated 878, 000 tonnes of municipal solid waste to landfill.
In 2016-17, councils in metropolitan Melbourne sent an estimated 878, 000 tonnes of municipal solid waste to landfill.

“If people can’t get it collected, they will leave it in plastic bags tied up on the side of the road, and the car park.

“I know we want to do better with rubbish and recycling but I think part of this will hurt the community.”

While they have no current plans in place to change the existing collection structure, Melbourne City’s Deputy Mayor Arron Wood told The Herald Sun that anything that may encourage improved recycling is worth considering.

Yahoo7 has contacted Victoria’s Local Government Minister Marlene Kairouz for comment on the plan.

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