Shire of Esperance could introduce a third organic waste bin

As the war on waste continues to be at the forefront of people’s minds, the Shire of Esperance is exploring the option of adding a third bin to households.

It would mean each premises would have a general waste, recycling and food organic and garden organic waste bin.

The shire recently hosted a Waste Revolution workshop where the idea was discussed along with other ways to reduce the community’s waste.

“So much can be done to reduce waste by individuals even before the shire picks up the bins. Currently the shire diverts 19 per cent of our waste from landfill but we are aiming to make that 45 per cent by 2020,” workshop organiser Lara McIntyre said.

The City of Bunbury was the first in the state to implement the food organic and garden organic waste bin in May 2013. City of Bunbury Works and Services Director Gavin Harris said the additional bin was part of the city’s strategy to reach the WA Waste Strategy target of diverting waste from landfill by 50 per cent by 2020.

“The city’s current waste diversion rate from landfill is 61 per cent,” he said.

“Our current contamination rate for our food and garden bins is under 3 per cent which is great compared to some council’s over east struggling to get their contamination below 10 per cent.”

Mr Harris said there were many benefits to the organic recycling.

“Organic waste in landfill produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas (composting does not produce methane). Recycling organic material also diverts waste from the landfill site, extending the life of the landfill resulting in lower long term costs to operate the landfill site,” he said.

Mr Harris said the start up cost of the extra bin was $750,000 which included salaries, bin purchases, advertising and community engagement.

“The ongoing cost for the city is about $450,000 which includes disposal costs,” he said.

In 2014 the Waste Authority released the Better Bins Kerbside Collection Funding so the cost for councils introducing it can get assistance. Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott said some of the councillors visited Bunbury to check out the success of their organic waste facility.

“The Shire has been looking into a third bin option for some time now,” he said.

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