The City’s waste management cost per resident was found to be less than the state and national average. Resident living in the City of Swan were shown to dump almost 14% less rubbish than the average council in WA.
Mayor David Lucas says the City of Swan’s achievements were possible due to the fact that the city, along with all the other members of the East Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC), takes waste and recycling very seriously.
“For many years now, the city realised that we have got a big growth population coming ahead – population has already doubled in the last 20 years and is likely to double again in the next 20, so we need to remain forefront in this space,” Lucas said.
The City of Swan continues to look for ways to further reduce their waste, and in the last three years, more than 180 tonnes of mattresses have been diverted from landfill and either restored and reused, or broken down into components for recycling.
The City operates its own waste collection service, effectively using shared resources, labour and plant between the various waste services.
“We have established places like the Bullsbrook recycling facility, which we believe will be on target to make the city around $400,000 over a financial year. The facility is open to the public and accepts things like tyres, batteries and scrap metal, amongst other waste streams.
“We also realised that putting waste back into landfill is not the correct way to go about things, so we have introduced a lot of new strategies such as our mattress recycling program.
“Obviously in the last few months China’s introduced a ban on recycling, but our approach to recycling is completely independent of what China’s policy is because we can’t control what they do, we can only control what we do, and the city is always constantly working to improve all services.”
Lucas says that careful and correct planning is the key to managing the sector in light of China’s National Sword Policy, as well as their increasing population.
“As a member of the EMRC, we’ve agreed to enter into a contract with an outside provider who are going through the due diligence now to provide a waste-to-energy facility, which will be built well outside the city’s boundaries,” Lucas said.
“We are hopeful that in the future most of our recycling will be able to be turned into energy by burning it in a special high temperature combustion incinerator with very low emissions.”
Extensive education programs such as worm farming and responsible home recycling have been implemented, particularly by the City’s large rural and semi-rural properties, which help tremendously in reducing waste volumes.
“We are working hard at further educating our residents on waste recycling, because a lot of recyclable materials can’t be recycled due to the cross contamination of non-recyclable goods for example,” Lucas said.
“We are very much in tune with providing the best services for all of our residents, ratepayers and businesses and we’re very proud of our waste management team and all of the good work that the city does.
“The City of Swan wants to stay at the forefront of being recognised for its efficiency in not only waste management, but also all types of local government issues.”
Data was collected from 133 participating councils throughout WA and across Australia and New Zealand. The results were published in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program 2017 by PwC Australia and Local Government Professionals NSW.