Changes to household waste will deliver major environmental improvements across the Bathurst Region and bring Council in line with many leading Councils across New South Wales.
Bathurst Regional Council has added a new food and garden waste collection to its existing service. The weekly green lid bin will complement the existing mixed waste and recycling services already in place.
Changes to household Waste Services
Food and garden waste collected via the new bin will be sent to a purpose-built facility in Blayney for re-processing. The new green lid food and garden waste bin will be collected weekly and will be used for the disposal of all household food including meat and dairy items as well as garden organics including grass clippings and prunings.
The current fortnightly yellow lid recycling collection service and the current weekly red lid collection service has remained unchanged.
Council has produced a number of information brochures and flyers designed to provide information for residents about the new Food and Garden Waste Collection.
These important materials include;
What goes in the food and garden waste bin?, to view this document please click here.
The January 2016 ratepayers newsletter information insert, to view this please click here.
A detailed resident brochure which is being delivered with the new food and garden waste bin, to view this please click here.
Use of Bags
Council is requesting that residents do not use bags of any kind in the new food and garden waste bin and there are a range of reasons for this.
One of the main items leading to contamination in the recycling bin is the plastic bags, which should only be placed in the general waste bin at home or in the specially marked bin at participating supermarkets.
Firstly there are a number of different kinds of bags available plastic, bio-degradable and compostable. Bags can be expensive and in fact represent waste themselves even though the bags break down the packaging may
Although the same collection contractor JR Richards collects food and garden waste in other Council areas where compostable bags are used, the facilities at the receiving depot where the compost is made are quite
different. At ANL in Blayney employees undertake an initial sort for contaminates by hand and bags can hide incorrect items, mixed waste and hazardous materials. Therefore Council cannot encourage the use of bags and any plastic bags will be
sent to landfill.
Particularly wet or odorous food waste can wrapped in newspaper and be placed in the food and garden waste bin or can be placed in a plastic bag in the general waste bin.
Council has provided the kitchen caddy to make it easier to transport food waste to the bin outside, resident may choose to line the caddy with paper towel, newspaper or junk mail to absorb some liquid and suppress
odours. There are some excellent tips to keeping your bin fresh which can be found here.
The major findings from Council’s Community Waste Management Survey were;
- Garbage and recycling bins are predominately ‘Usually fairly full’ on collection day
- 59 percent of respondents put garden organic waste in their garbage and 51 percent compost it
- 81 percent of respondents put food waste in their garbage and 31 percent feed it to animals
- 85 percent of respondents support Council trying to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting food and garden waste for composting on a weekly basis
- 32 percent of respondents could not manage fortnightly garbage collections, whilst the remaining 68 percent could manage, but with varying degrees of impact
- 74 percent of respondents have in-principle support for the idea that Council introduce new systems that reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling and composting, even if slightly more expensive in the short term
The key results from Council’s Domestic Kerbside Waste Audit are;
Bin presentation rates were as follows:
- Waste 86.6%
- Recycling 81.1%
The mean bin proportion full for waste was 60% which ties in with the average bin contents of 13 kg per household. The mean bin proportion full for recycling was 68%.
The overall organics in the waste bin was 64%.
The waste stream had 64% organic material by weight. Food made up the highest proportion at nearly 30%, with garden organics making up over 24%. Other organics made up nearly 8%, and soiled paper over 2%, giving an average organics yield of 8.32kg per bin.
In regards to recycling material in the waste stream, the following percentages were recorded:
- Recyclable plastics 2.6%
- Recyclable glass 3.4%
- Recyclable metal packaging and other 1.90%
- Recyclable paper and cardboard 6.78%
The overall recycling in waste bin was 14.70%, and the overall average weight was 1.9kg.
Observations highlighted that most of the garbage bags contained recyclable material that was widespread and was not isolated to some households.
In summary, there is good opportunity for Bathurst residents to improve their current recycling rates, and be able to reduce waste to landfill somewhat significantly in the following years with a three bin kerbside system. In particular, organics and food are making up a large proportion of recyclable material, along with household recyclables. This presents a total of over 70% diversion rate that could be reached with the introduction of a weekly organics service, and further education in regards to household comingled recycling.
Composting at home is an option to recycle some food scraps and garden greenwaste however there are some items that should not be placed in a a home compost bin such as meat, dairy or weeds. For more information, please see the general information leaflet on composting.
Worms like moist conditions, in a mix of soil and compost, not too wet, and not too dry. Keep your worms out of the sun and in a shady area, with a bit of shelter from wet weather. Worms can only eat certain foods and cannot tolerate spicy or citrus foods. For more information please see the general information leaflet on Worm Farming.
Correct Disposal of Organic Waste
There are many items that can be placed in the new food and green waste kerbside bin commencing from April 2016 that cannot be placed in a compost bin, worm farm or fed to chickens. Please see the detailed list below however the primary items of consideration are; meat including bones, dairy and paper/cardboard all of which can be placed in the lime green bin but cannot be broken down by composting, worms or chickens.
|Chooks||Worm Farm||Compost Bin||Food and Green waste Bin|
|Vegetable Peelings||Vegetable Peelings||Vegetable Peelings|
|Fruit Scraps||Fruit Scraps||Fruit Scraps||Fruit Scraps|
|Egg Shells||Egg Shells||Egg Shells||Egg Shells|
|Leftovers||Small amount of bread and cake||Tea Bags||Tea Bags|
|Cereal, pasta and bread||Tea Bags||Coffee Grounds||Coffee Grounds|
|Fallen fruit||Coffee Grounds||Fallen leaves and fruit||Fallen leaves and fruit|
|Cake and other pastry items||Fallen fruit||Bread and cake||Cereal, pasta and bread plus cake and pastry items|
|Will not eat some skins eg mandarin, oranges and avocado||Small amount of grass clippings||Small amount of weeds||All meat scraps, fat and bones including chicken|
|No Citrus or spicy food eg chili, onion or garlic||Dead flowers||All fish scraps and bones|
|No dairy, meat or oily foods||Grass clippings||All grass clippings|
|Pet hair and fur||All garden weeds|
|Small amount of shredded paper||All garden prunings|
|Small twigs||Dead flowers|
|No dairy, meat or oily foods||Office paper|
|Paper plates and serviettes|
|Pet hair and fur|
|Fruit stones eg peaches|
|Avocado skins and stones|
|Disposable paper coffee cups|
|Wax paper and cardboard|
|No plastic bags|
|No cardboard with plastic film|