Cowra Council dumps request for a green waste service

Cowra Shire Council has said no to a green waste kerbside collection service, for now.

The Council's Tidy Towns and Urban Landcare committee requested the service be included in the council's operational plan but council's general committee this week rejected the request due.

The council committee has asked for a report on cost to implement a service in the future.

Ratepayers might not be pleased to hear Council estimates the cost would be between $118 and $266 per property.

"Assuming that the green waste pick-up system is fully utilised at a similar level to household garbage; a 240L fortnightly green waste bin pick-up could cost ratepayers in the order of $266 a year per property," council's Director of Infrastructure and Operations Dirk Wymer said.

Council current charges a minimum fee of $5 for clean green waste delivered to the Cowra Materials Recycling Facility.

In a report to this week's meeting Mr Wymer explained that the green waste is currently received over the weighbridge at the MRF and the stockpile is processed using a contract green waste chipper/shredder.

The mulch produced from the process is then used as a mulching cover in the landfill cells at the centre. 

Mr Wymer said experience elsewhere suggests a green waste bin would not be utilised by all eligible users; or the bins are less likely to be full every fortnight.

A green waste collection could cost Cowra ratepayers hundreds of dollars a year.

A green waste collection could cost Cowra ratepayers hundreds of dollars a year.

"Council's overall costs could be lower than for the garbage pick-up. However, costs will never be as low as the recycling pick-up due to the income stream available in recycling," he said.

He added that alternate resource processing solutions at the MRF are limited by:

The relatively small annual volume collected and /or available for collection related to the minimum annual volume needed to create a sustainable processing business;

The high capital cost of setting up a quality assured composting system suitable for creating a saleable processed product;

The market price cap applicable to the end compost product meaning the cost of quality assured production is not likely to be met.

As an alternative to a kerbside collection service Mr Wymer suggested council could look at a voucher service.

"An alternate system to encourage ratepayers to dispose of green waste at the MRF rather than dumping is a 'Green Waste Voucher' system allowing one or two free vehicle or vehicle and box trailer MRF green waste entries per year per assessment notice," Mr Wymer said. 

Also making news: