WOLLONGONG City Council is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its draft Waste and Resource Recovery Fees and Exemptions Policy.
The proposed changes seek to improve support for pensioner concession cardholders to encourage the use of Council’s twice-yearly kerbside bulky collections or Community Recycling Centre, and to remove exemptions for mixed general and green waste.
Wollongong Acting Lord Mayor Tania Brown said waste services will be expanded to include free twice-yearly green waste collections across Wollongong City to enable hazard reduction and launch a free annual post-Christmas recycling collection event to benefit all residents.
“A visit to the tip face can be a helpful way to get rid of excess household items, but for many in our community it’s not practical to take a carload of bulky waste or green waste to Whyte’s Gully,’’ Cr Brown said.
“For instance, not everyone has a car or a car with a tow bar and trailer, and not everyone is physically able to lift and manoeuvre things in and out of a trailer. Utilising the two free bulky collections each year can be a more practical way to get rid of larger household rubbish.
“In addition, we trialled the Christmas collection in three locations last year, and they were well-used by community members looking to recycle additional cardboard, paper and glass bottles. From this we’ve decided to look at these becoming a fixture of our waste collections offering.’’
Under the proposed policy change, Council is also looking to minimise the volume of donated items that end up in landfill through the development and rollout of individualised waste management plans for local charity organisations.
In 2019, about 1.2 tonnes of material was landfilled by charity organisations at Whytes Gully. Most of this material was not sorted, and included items like clothing and electricals that could have been diverted from landfill and recycled.
Under the proposal, charities will be exempt from the waste gate fee provided the unusable goods and materials they bring to Whytes Gully are sorted for reuse or recycling. Under the previous Policy, charities and other community service organisations were not required to sort items.
“Charities play an essential service in our community and we’re conscious that they’re run with a strong volunteer base. That’s why we’re reaching out to the many organisations in the area to let them know about this proposal,’’ Cr Brown said.
“I also encourage any representatives from these organisations who would like to know more to get in touch with Council’s Customer Service team. Coronavirus has had an impact on our whole community, including charities, and we want to seek as much feedback as we can on this possible transition.
“We know our community is keen to see Council do more to mitigate climate change and a key action for Council is reducing what ends up in landfill. This proposal is one step in a much bigger picture.’’
For more information on the proposal, or to provide feedback, visit Council’s engagement portal and join the conversation. Feedback closes August 10.
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