Council leads change for sustainable waste management in Meander Valley

Posted on May 23, 2022

Prospect Vale, Hadspen and Traveller’s Rest will be joining Blackstone Heights in receiving a FOGO collection service from July.

Meander Valley Council has announced a suite of changes to waste services to secure a more sustainable future for the municipality.

“We are making these announcements before the finalisation of Meander Valley’s new Waste Management Strategy to give residents time to prepare for the changes, which are significant,” Mayor Wayne Johnston said.

Council is making a substantial investment in waste management to provide more sustainable and cost effective services longer term.

“Importantly, we are taking this step ahead of the introduction of the State Government’s waste levy, so we can minimise the costs to our ratepayers,” Mayor Johnston said.

From July 1, the State Government will be charging a levy on the amount of waste going to landfill. Commencing at $20 per tonne, the levy is set to increase to $40 per tonne by 2024 and then $60 per tonne by 2027.

Currently, 50 percent of Meander Valley’s kerbside waste by weight is made up of food and organic waste with a further 15 percent made up of misplaced recyclable material.

“By improving how we divert these products we can reduce the impact of the waste levy for our ratepayers and improve our sustainability at the same time” Mayor Johnston said.

“Over the coming months, we will be expanding our collection of food organics and garden organics (FOGO) and waste and recycling collection services in a staged approach where it is cost effective to do so. It’s an exciting step towards our long term sustainability and we will be working hard to support our residents throughout this transition.”

Meander Valley Council’s waste management overhaul mirrors the direction of a number of local councils who are faced with the rising financial and environmental costs of landfill.

Mayor Johnston said the new services will bring big benefits, but they do rely on everyone establishing good waste habits.

“Every resident has a part to play, particularly when it comes to sorting. We want every householder to become a sorting champion and we will be measuring the success of our sorting post pick up,” Mayor Johnston said.

Sorting and avoiding cross contamination of bins is important as a misplaced item can lead to entire truckload being sent to landfill.

“By just being “good sorts” we can save at least 1300 tonnes of waste going to landfill across our local government area every year and that’s significant,” Mayor Johnston said.

From July, an additional 3,456 households across Prospect Vale, Hadspen and Traveller’s Rest will be joining Blackstone Heights in receiving a FOGO collection service.

This is in addition to 47 rural property owners in serviceable areas who have opted in to receive a new waste and recycling collection, leading to additional diversion of recyclables from landfill.

Continuing the practice started last year, Meander Valley Council will also be providing waste vouchers to certain areas of the municipality.

“A one size fits all approach to waste is far too narrow for Meander Valley. Our municipality is made up of very diverse communities and is geographically vast. Waste vouchers are a direct measure to support those residents who need to travel longer distances to access a waste facility,” Mayor Johnston said.

Ahead of the changes, residents will soon be receiving more information about their new bin collection days as well as educational packs to help them to effectively use their new waste services.

“We will have resources available and Council staff will be here to help support everyone throughout this transition. We look forward to building better waste services as we work towards reducing our landfill."

Want to learn more about FOGO? View the FOGO FAQ Factsheet here