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Council Determines a way forward on Waste

24 February 2017

Council have resolved to shelve operations of the Hamilton landfill as part of a suite of changes to improve delivery of waste services in the Southern Grampians Shire.

Under the changes, the Hamilton Transfer Station would operate as normal so patrons would not notice any disruption to service, however instead of waste being disposed of in the Hamilton landfill, it will be transported to an alternative landfill site. Council would keep its land fill licence open so that the site could reopen at any stage in the future.

“This scenario offers a number of advantages to Council, the main one being a saving of $2,212,000 over ten years. Closure of the landfill will eliminate the need for us to manage the landfill and remove the associated capital, regulatory and legacy risks. It also eliminates the need to construct additional cells” said David Moloney, Director Shire Infrastructure.

“The EPA is continually imposing higher construction, rehabilitation and licence standards. This has meant that operational and capital costs have increased substantially in recent years and this trend is likely to continue. Shelving the Landfill removes the need for Council to fulfil those obligations”.

Another significant change Council resolved upon Wednesday night was the change to a fortnightly recycling service and the introduction of 240lt recycling bins.

“Council is bringing its service model for recycling and waste services into line with other shires across the State. Most other Councils currently run a weekly waste and a fortnightly recycling service and have 240lt recycling bins. While this change means an initial outlay to Council to purchase the new bins, changing to a fortnightly recycling service represents a significant financial saving to Council over the next ten years” Mr Moloney continued.

These changes were identified in a waste services review report, presented to Council by Mackenzie Environmental. The company was engaged to develop a financial model to analyse the cost implications of the existing and alternative waste services delivery models. The model was used to validate Council current fees and to provide support for a Council Waste Services Strategy.

The review found if Council were to continue operating waste services in the manner it is currently, it would represent an $8million loss over the next 10 years.

Other cost-saving measures proposed include:

  • The operation of all Council’s outer waste transfer stations being contracted out
  • This presents an estimated saving of approximately $348,000 over the next ten years
  • Use an external contractor for public litter bin collection service
  • Investigate the most appropriate Food Organics Green Organics (FOGO) collection service

The only recommendation from the report presented that Council did not endorse was the proposed reduction in hours across transfer stations.

The changes to Council’s waste services are expected to be implemented in a staged approach, over the next 2 years.

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