The City of Bunbury will be turning its focus on recycling following a new agreement with waste collection company SUEZ.
Council has made the decision to authorise the chief executive to negotiate with SUEZ up until June 30 and then look at a contract adjustment afterwards.
“Everything was fine until China decided it would no longer accept recycled waste from Australia,” City of Bunbury mayor Gary Brennan told the Bunbury Mail.
“SUEZ is now finding that the cost of disposing of the recycled waste has now increased significantly. We don’t want to be in the position where our recycled waste is no longer collected or recycled.
“So, we look like having to pay more and that will directly impact on our ratepayers, who will be asked to pay more.
“The best way for residents to help was to ensure they were placing waste in the correct bins to avoid contamination and associated charges.”
According to Jo Walker, waste reduction projects officer, it was important for people to understand what could go in which bins to keep contamination rates low.
“For the last year we’ve really targeted the FOGO bin and we’ve seen great results, the contamination rate went from 3.15 per cent down to 0.6,” Walker told the Bunbury Mail.
“Recycling contamination is about 12 to 15 per cent so there is room for improvement there.
“Previously, people were confused because every council did something slightly different, the messages were really varied whereas now we’re starting to become more consistent.”
City of Bunbury waste services manager Aileen Clemens told the Bunbury Mail that her team’s main job over the next 12 months would be to get the community tools to make separating waste in the kitchen easier.
“For however many years we have been putting waste straight into a hole in the ground and of course it has caused environmental effects,” Clemens continued.
“Going forward the Waste Authority’s main target is for zero waste, the more that we are conscious of diverting as much to be recycled or composted, less is going to landfill.
“What we do now is what effects our kids and grandkids in the future.”