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Fortnightly Kerbside Collection

Alexandrina Council endorsed the fortnightly collection of domestic general waste, recyclables and green organics for implementation on 1 July 2016.

The decision was based on investigation and research undertaken by Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority (FRWA) between 2012 and 2014. This research included public consultation, several region-wide bin audits and a pilot program between October 2013 and February 2014 in Hayborough.

The new Kerbside Waste Collection Policy also includes initiatives aimed to meet the needs of large households (5 or more persons), families with residents in nappies and residents with special medical needs. Residents meeting one or more of these criteria may apply to Council for an additional waste bin to be collected fortnightly at no charge.
To access the application for an additional waste bin please click here. Please note: the application must be printed, filled out and presented in person with proof of local residency to Council Offices in Goolwa or Strathalbyn.

Answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs) in relation to fortnightly kerbside collection are outlined below-:

Frequently Asked Questions in relation to the fortnightly kerbside collection

1) When will this change come into effect?

July 1 2016

2) We pay such high rates, how can Council justify reducing this service?

The changes to the kerbside waste collection will actually result in an increase in service. Residents will be offered twice the recycling and organics capacity.

3) The collection schedule will change; how will I know when to put out my bin(s)?

The new collection schedule was included in the 2016-2017 and subsequent waste calendars which are mailed out in June each year via Australia Post unaddressed mail, in time for the first collections in July.

The collection pattern is as follows: the general waste and green organics bins are collected on one week and the recycling bin is collected the next week.

4) Is Council doing this to save money?

No, Council is doing this to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill and to increase the rate of recycling and resource recovery. The cost of increasing the frequency of recycling and green organic collections to fortnightly and reducing waste collection to fortnightly is slightly less than making no change to the current system. There will be additional costs incurred from the initial implementation and education relevant to the program which will reduce and be eliminated over time.

5) I’m on a rural property and we don’t get an organics bin or collection so we are really getting the short end of the stick!

Rural properties will get an increase in recycling collections from 4-weekly to fortnightly which will help take the pressure off of your waste bin to handle all of your waste. Rural properties have more space for composting and resource recovery on-site so generally don’t have the same need as urban and suburban properties for an organics collection. Rural properties often have chooks or livestock which may eat food scraps reducing the need for the extra waste and organics capacity. This is an opportunity to recycle & compost more and send less waste to landfill.

6) I am getting less rubbish picked up; how will I manage?

The sorting of your waste into the correct bin is the key to make the most of the fortnightly kerbside collection service which offers additional bin volume for recyclables and green waste.

Household bin audits conducted in 2014 in Alexandrina and Victor Harbor Councils show that waste bins contained only 31% of materials categorized as landfill meaning that 69% of the material found in waste bins could have been recycled or composted. Diverting more recyclable material into the recycling (yellow lid) and green waste (green lid) bins will leave more space in the general waste bin (blue lid).

Fortnightly collection of all waste streams, total collected over 4 weeks: 1240L

 

7) Why change the current system? It works for me!

In May/June 2012, the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority (FRWA) undertook a regional kerbside bin audit of selected properties within the areas of Alexandrina Council, Kangaroo Island Council, City of Victor Harbor and District Council of Yankalilla. The audit found that 55% of the general waste stream consisted of potentially recyclable materials (28% recyclables and 27% food/green waste). On the basis of this, FRWA recognized the potential to encourage diversion of waste from landfill by altering the bin collection schedule.

The 2014 FRWA bin audit delivered similar results to the 2012 audit, highlighting that valuable resources are still being sent to landfill. The average general waste bin contains (by weight) 16% recyclables, 9% green organics, 38% food and compostable paper, 6% other (electronic resources, clothing etc.) and only 31% waste!

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8) Exceptional Circumstances - We have a large family, a child in nappies or have medical waste and our waste bin is always full each week!

The Kerbside Waste Collection Policy – Exceptional Circumstance (EC) conditions aims to meet the needs of large families, those with children in nappies or those living with a medical condition which produces extra waste (incontinence products) by allowing on application, one additional 140L general waste bin-collected fortnightly – without charge.

  • Large Family - A large family is defined as a permanent residential dwelling in which 5 or more persons live for at least 5 nights per week on average.
  • Nappies - A permanent residential dwelling, where the use of disposable nappies results in the production of an extra volume of waste. There are nappy disposal systems which compress and store dirty nappies in a tube that store, odour free, approximately one week’s worth of nappies. One such product is the Tommee Tippee Sanagenic nappy bin disposal system.
  • Special Medical Needs - A permanent residential dwelling, where an extra volume of waste is produced due to a resident’s medical condition. This does not include premises generating medical waste from a business, such as home massage, podiatry or similar.  *Households which meet two or more of the criteria listed above may apply for a total of two additional 140L general waste bins without charge, renewed annually.

General Exceptional Circumstances Conditions:

  • Any EC bin application will need to be renewed for each financial year (to confirm eligibility, as the needs of residents may change).
  • Eligible EC applicants will be issued an annual sticker to affix to the EC bin which will confirm fortnightly collection for the Collection Drivers.

Important Please Note: EC bins are NOT collected during the peak summer school holiday period, when weekly collection of general waste applies. Should your household need to dispose of additional general waste during the time of weekly collection of general waste the following options are available:

a. take excess waste to the Waste and Recycling Depots – charged at between $3.00 and $5.00 per bag
b. purchase additional kerbside waste collection services – annual or seasonal services are available (fees apply)

Exceptional Circumstances Application forms are available at Alexandrina Council offices and can also be downloaded from the websites www.frwa.com.au and www.alexandrina.sa.gov.au
Applications must be made in person at Council offices and staff are available to help with any enquiries.

Renewal letter and forms for current holders of Exceptional Circumstances bin(s) will be sent out in April 2017, with completed renewal application due to be submitted to Alexandrina Council by the end of May 2017. Exceptional Circumstances bin stickers for 2017-2018 will be mailed to approved EC renewals in mid-June 2017, in readiness for continuation of kerbside collections from 1 July 2017.

9) Peak Summer School Holiday December/January - General Waste Collections Revert back to Weekly

 

 

The current Kerbside Waste Collection Policy specifies that general waste bins will be collected weekly, on the usual day, during the summer school holiday period - as identified in the waste collection calendar- at no extra cost. Please check the current Kerbside Waste Calendar to confirm weekly collection dates.

Note: EC bins are NOT collected during the peak summer school holiday period, when weekly collection of general waste applies. Households with 1 x 140L EC bin receive the same volume of kerbside waste collection during weekly collection period of general waste bin (2 x 140L in fortnight), as that provided during fortnightly collection of both general waste and EC bin (2 x 140L in fortnight).

Outside the summer school holiday period all bins, including EC bins (no charge) and additional kerbside services (fee for service) will be collected fortnightly.

10) Holiday maker / holiday homes / Seasonal Collection Services:

To accommodate the seasonal needs of holiday homes, the additional bin policy (allowing for up to 2 extra bins per service) allows for two additional waste collection services options:

a. Annual Additional Waste Collection – allows for the collection of additional waste bins (up to 2 extra per collection stream).
b. Seasonal Additional Waste Collection - allows for the collection of additional waste bins (up to 2 extra per waste stream) - for the period 1 November to 28 February

Each additional waste collection service requires the purchase of an additional bin which is collected fortnightly as per the schedule (general waste reverts to weekly during peak summer school holidays).

Outside the summer school holiday period (as identified in the waste collection calendar) all bins, including EC bins and additional kerbside services will be collected fortnightly.

Note: It is important that ratepayers recognize that FRWA’s kerbside service is designed to meet the needs of residential ratepayers. Holiday rental properties are entitled to use the service insofar as their waste production is similar to that of a residential property. The kerbside service cannot and should not be redesigned to meet the needs of commercial operations.

11) My waste bin will smell if only picked up fortnightly:

In accordance with the section 4(3) Control of Refuse, of the Public and Environmental Health Regulations 1996:

Any putrescible waste that is placed in a receptacle must be contained in wrapping or sealed in a disposable container so as to prevent or minimize the discharge of fluids and the emission of offensive odours’

Smells would mainly come from food scraps, nappies and/or animal waste in your bin, some hints to reduce any odour:

a. Keep the bin lid closed to keep odours in; wrap food scraps in newspaper or use a compostable food scrap bag with the kitchen caddy- (call FRWA or Alexandrina Council for details on the supply of the bags and caddy)

b. Fruit and vegetable food scraps can be composted at home or may go in your green organics bin to be composted off-site. Subsidized composting equipment will be available to residents who wish to compost their food scraps at home and reduce the food waste going to the bin.

c. Kitchen food scrap caddies and compostable bags will be available for purchase at a subsidized price as well. Food scraps may go in your green bin loose or in the compostable bag. The compostable bag will contain most odours.

d. Alternatively, freeze ‘smelly’ food waste (e.g. fish waste) until bin is put out for collection/then put it in the bin.

e. Contain pet waste in a plastic or paper bag before placing in your general waste bin.

f. If bins are kept reasonably clean, food scraps wrapped or bagged and bin lids closed, odours and/or flies should not be a problem.


12) Pests, vermin: If my waste bin sits out for 2 weeks it's going to attract rats, mice, birds, flies or other insects. How will I manage that?

Make sure your bin has a lid and keep the bin lid closed. If necessary place a heavy object such as a rock or brick to keep it closed in windy conditions. Commercial products, such as Bin Springs are available to keep the bin lid closed (even if bin is blown over).

Bin lids and other spare parts are available from the FRWA Waste and Recycling Depots (fees apply).

13) We don't have all 3 types of bins, only a waste bin, what will we do?

Houses that currently don’t have all three bins are encouraged to purchase whichever bins they need for waste, recycling and green organics (if applicable to their area).

The current price for a 140L waste bin is $61.00; 240L recycling or 240L green bins are $66.00 each. Bins are available from the FRWA Waste and Recycling Depots.

Alexandrina Council subsidy of 50% on purchase cost of bins was in effect from January 2016 to 1 January 2017(now ceased).

14) We are a Child Care Centre / School:

Schools are entitled to 1 x 140L waste bin but may purchase up to 3 waste bins. The extra bins and service incur the additional kerbside waste bin collection fee. Schools – depending on the number of students may find it necessary to use the services of a commercial front lift bin.

Schools (Kindergarten to High School) are supported in their use of the kerbside recycling system (recyclables and green organics ) by applying a formula of 1 recycling bin and 1 green waste bin (as applicable) per 50 students.

15) I own a Restaurant (or Cafe), how can we cope with less waste pick-ups?

Depending on your volume of waste and if you cannot fit your general waste, recycling and organics into the prescribed bins with the fortnightly collection schedule your business may need a second or third waste bin. Extra bins and annual additional waste collection services are available for purchase from FRWA.

If the additional bins are not an appropriate option, businesses may find it necessary to use a commercial service offering larger front lift bins. It is important that businesses recognize that FRWA’s kerbside service is designed to meet the needs of residential ratepayers and small businesses that produce waste similar in volume and content to a household.

16) Are we allowed to have additional bins for waste if we want them?

Additional bins are available (for purchase and with an additional waste collection service fee) if needed but with increased recycling and green organics collection, additional general waste bins should be unnecessary in most cases. FRWA’s Education Officer will be available to visit your home or business bins to ensure that you are recycling as much as is possible in order to waste less.

17) If I have extra waste that I can't fit into my bin, can I take it to the Depot?

Extra bags of waste can be taken to the Waste and Recycling Depot at a charge of between $3.00 and $5.00 per bag.

18) Will Council allow us the option of paying extra and having a 240L waste bin?

No, our standard waste bin is the 140L size and our goal is to reduce waste to landfill and increase resource recovery.

19) I have an old-style skinny bin which is already smaller than the 140L bin. So, those of us in Strathalbyn  (where those bins are found) are enduing even more restrictions?

At no stage have 120L bins been issued by the Alexandrina Council. They would have been issued prior to the amalgamation and formation of Alexandrina Council.

FRWA does not stock 120L bins (or any spare parts for these bins). FRWA will continue to pick up 120L bins, but makes owners aware of the problems associated with them (no stock of spare parts, break easily, tip over easier on windy days).

In general - if your waste needs are greater than what a fortnightly collection will provide, please make sure that you are not putting any recyclable or compostable material in your general waste bin and make use of the extra capacity being provided by the increase in recycling and green organics pick-up.

If you are unable to fit your waste into the smaller bin FRWA’s Waste and Recycling Education Officer is available to come to your home, inspect your bins and check to see that you are recycling all that is possible. As the smaller bins wear-out and as there are no spare parts available, residents are encouraged to purchase the current 140L waste bin.

20) We have our bins in a bin bank and they are often filled by others who dumped their waste in and around our bins.

If you are unable to fit your waste into the smaller bin FRWA’s Waste and Recycling Education Officer is available to come to your home, inspect your bins and check to see that you are recycling all that is possible. As the smaller bins wear-out and as there are no spare parts available, residents are encouraged to purchase the current 140L waste bin.

21) With this fortnightly collection of kerbside waste we are simply going to have to use public litter bins for our extra waste. I am a member of the public so I am entitled to do so!  

Public Litter Bins are installed in areas of high recreational use, tourist destinations and town centres for waste generated as part of recreational activities.

The proper use of public litter bins assists to keep our towns and tourist destinations tidy. Public litter bins are not intended for use by residents to dispose of household waste.

Council and FRWA are currently considering installing restrictive bin lids to reduce the size of the opening, placing additional signage on the bin indicating the intended use and warning of fines for illegal dumping of rubbish.

22) The surveys conducted locally revealed that 80% of residents (who voted) were not in favour of the switch to fortnightly collection of waste. Why are you going forward with it?  

That is correct 81% of survey participants were not in favour of fortnightly waste collection but 70% were in favour of additional recycling collections and 64% were in favour of additional green organics collections.

During the public consultation and the Fortnightly Collection pilot the resident concerns and objections to the fortnightly collection of waste were collected and assessed.

The research undertaken by FRWA found that residents were concerned about the additional waste during the summer period, impacts on large families and families with babies. These issues have been addressed through Exceptional Circumstances conditions within the Kerbside Waste Collection Policy.

Council also had to decide if they had the funding required to pay for the additional recycling and green organics collections that the community wanted while leaving the domestic waste collected weekly. Giving consideration to all of the issues Council resolved to endorse the fortnightly collection of all kerbside materials.