Could you improve your recycling habits if you knew it would save you money?
That’s the question the Shire of Dardanup is asking its residents following negotiation of a new deal with Recycling contractor Suez.
As with other local governments across Australia, the Shire of Dardanup is being impacted by recycling cost increases associated with China’s ban last year on many categories of foreign waste plus falling commodity prices.
Waste processors promptly warned their prices would go up.
Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said the price per tonne of processing recyclables collected from local kerbsides had just been doubled and the result for ratepayers this financial year was a $15 increase on their rates notice.
But, in a bonus for residents, the Shire of Dardanup has managed to negotiate for any future rises to be tied to the community’s recycling performance, measured by the percentage of recycling contamination recorded.
“Our level of contamination goes up, the amount Suez will charge us per tonne of recycling collected goes up but if we can get our rate of contamination down, so too will the price they charge us,” Cr Bennett said.
“We have 3 months to make a difference and save ourselves some money.”
Suez and the Shire will conduct an audit of recycling contamination levels in September to determine future price levels. Random audits will also occur soon to gauge progress.
Cr Bennett said the Shire would be conducting a broad community education campaign to help residents improve their recycling habits and reduce contamination.
Most importantly, he wanted residents to check guides on what can be recycled listed on the back of their Waste Calendar which is delivered with rates notices and a magnet for attaching to the fridge.
“We’ve already seen that our community is very responsive to information on this topic and open to change,” Cr Bennett said.
“In the 2017/18 financial year, we recorded a doubling in the amount of recyclables collected for the first time in four years following our BYO Bag campaign and circulation of associated information.
“In the same time period, the amount of domestic refuse collected and taken to landfill recorded a significant drop.
“That shows us we are recycling more, we now just need to do it better.”
Waste Calendar with recycling tips on the reverse