An organics bin will be introduced in Dubbo and Wellington, after the introduction of a three-bin system was backed by Dubbo Regional Council.
At council’s Works and Services Committee Meeting on Monday night, administrator Michael Kneipp gave his tick of approval to a Food and Garden Organics bin to be introduced in 2018.
It’s not the final approval for the bin. Mr Kneipp will have to again give the three-bin system the green light at the July meeting of council next week.
In Wellington, the system will change from one bin to three, with both a recycling bin and an organic waste bin to be introduced. However, rural areas will be excluded.
Former Dubbo deputy mayor Ben Shields said the administrator was crossing into "dangerous territory" by approving the bin before councillors were elected.
“The usual plea that ‘this is not a rate - it's a levy’ does not hold any credibility to people when they receive their rate notices in the mail and see yet again the cost going up,” Mr Shields said.
“Some in the community even use the term ‘weasel words’ when discussing the deceptive way people's rate notices will be dramatically increased.”
Mr Shields, who is running in the local government elections in September, said if he was elected he would established a review board to investigate each decision made by the administrator.
Mr Kneipp said he believed there was a mood in the community at the moment that the way society treated the environment was paramount.
“I’ve been through this in every aspect… If we lose this opportunity, and the $4.36 million has to go back, I don’t think the Dubbo Regional Council ratepayers would thank me,” Mr Kneipp said.
“It’s there at a good price for ratepayers.”
However, Mr Shields, and another council candidate Vicki Etheridge clearly did not agree with Mr Kneipp’s comments. The duo were full of mutterings and sighs as Mr Kneipp cited the benefits of introducing an organics bin.
Dubbo resident Don Graham also addressed council on the issue.
Anyone who was opposed to the third bin being introduced should make sure they were informed of the benefits of it, Mr Graham said.
Council need to work smarter not harder in regards to waste management, he said.
As it currently stands, the green waste bin would be collected weekly, recycling would be collected fortnightly, and general mixed waste would be collected fortnightly. The new bin would increase council’s waste collection fees to $378.
However, for an additional $40 per year, there will be an option for residents to have their mixed waste bin collected every week.
There will also be a $50 annual rebate for pensioners.
“I feel very sorry for pensioners. They have reached the end of their earning lives and often don’t have the capacity to address some of these issues such as increasing fees,” Mr Kneipp said.
The administrator said he had thought very long and hard about the issue before he declared it carried on Monday night.
The three bin system will be rolled out to Dubbo, Wellington, Geurie, Broklehurst and Wongarbon. People in rural areas and those in multiple dwelling apartments, such as retirement villages, gated estates and apartment blocks, will continue to use the two-bin system.
A trial of the new bin was conducted across ten weeks last year with 352 households participating.
Of those who took part, 89 per cent received a fortnightly garbage collection, while 11 per cent had their organic waste collected weekly.
A post-trial survey found 76 per cent supported, or at least did not oppose, the introduction of an organics collection service, increased from a survey in March 2015, where 63 per cent of residents had the same response.
However, more than 1500 people have signed a petition against the food and garden waste bin.