Green waste collection would save our environment and money
OPINION: Clearly Councillor Greg Barnes has been monitoring my Ross Peddlesden for Division 5 Facebook page.
Recently I asked whether people would value and use a kerbside green waste collection service if one was available.
I should make it clear I have not yet advocated one, simply asked the question.
In response Cr Barnes posted on his own Facebook page a link to an article on his website purporting to outline "the facts" on green waste collection for my benefit.
He says it would be too expensive and would impose an extra rate burden.
Let's look at his facts. Cr Barnes quotes council figures which make it clear that at present 32% of household waste is in fact green matter.
That adds up to 8300 tonnes of extra material in landfill each year. And the cost? $522,000 a year. Every year.
On Cr Barnes' own figures kerbside pickup and mulching of green material would reduce the need for household waste landfill by nearly a third, not to mention the fact that rotting green material in landfill creates methane, one of the nastiest greenhouse gasses.
And as to cost, perhaps instead of paying over half a million dollars a year for a service which doesn't meet people's needs, we could consider investing in a service which will be better for ratepayers and the environment.
I've never denied the fact that there'd be a set up cost, but we're paying a heavy cost already, on Cr Barnes's own figures.
Several of council's recommendations to householders for green waste disposal - get a trailer and pay a fee to take your waste to the local dump, or pay for a garden bag service, actually amount to a cost transfer on to ratepayers.
At the very least the council should consider a zero charge for green material at its waste facilities.
Literally dozens of councils around Queensland and Australia offer a green waste collection service, including towns like Armidale in New South Wales and Bunbury in WA, which are comparable in size to our own.
Are we less smart, less capable and less environmentally responsible than them? I hope not.