While many of the changes are reasonably minor, there are some notable changes. Council staff can now refuse to collect a wheelie bin that has offensive material in it. This is about keeping our workers who sort recycling safe. Along with this change, we are also running an education campaign to remind people what goes where.
Council staff will also be able to refuse to collect a wheelie bin which has non-recyclable material in it. In addition, staff will issue a strike notice, and if three or more strike notices are issued then the collection service for that property will be suspended for several weeks. This is about making clear that the wheelie bins are not rubbish bins. However, people sometimes make mistakes, so the collection service is only suspended if the person continues to contaminate their wheelie bin.
The terms and conditions for events waste management and minimisation are now stronger. We require event organisers to promote usage of 100% compostable materials for food packaging at events held on Council land or with Council funding. This means that it will be easier to compost food waste from events, meaning that less waste will be going to the landfill.
Written submissions closed on 20 December 2017. We received four submissions, and all but one were in favour of the proposed changes. One submitter suggested we should include a category of waste called “combustible waste”, to allow for the possibility of future waste-to-energy projects. None of the submitters wanted to make an oral submission, so there was no need to hold hearings. Council considered all submissions in April 2018, and decided to proceed with the proposed changes as set out in the consultation documents.