Wasteful decision

There are increasing economic and ecological reasons to reduce the amount of rubbish our society produces.
Whether that is achieved by legislating to cut the level of unnecessary plastic and other harmful packaging or improving the rate of recycling, the ball is clearly in the lap of politicians.
So the State Government’s decision to rule out even considering the possible wider implementation of the highly successful fortnightly kerbside waste collection system undertaken by the Alexandrina Council is somewhat perplexing.
The local council made the decision to move away from the traditional weekly rubbish pickup in an effort to encourage its residents to reduce their waste and embrace recycling.
The results since 2016 have been impressive – a 19% drop in the amount of waste taken to landfill, a 63% increase in green waste collection and a 31% increase in recycling.
Many Alexandrina Council households – now alerted to the many recycling options available – find they only put their blue bins (for landfill) out once a month.
The council is also reaping financial rewards for this change and has noted a 15% cut in the fees it is charged to dump rubbish in landfill.
The council’s chief executive says the move has been “nothing but a success”, but the State Government has said it has no interest in giving the change the slightest consideration for metropolitan ratepayers.
And in a galling aside, Environment Minister David Spears won’t say why.
Legislation is in place requiring metropolitan councils to collect rubbish every week and a fortnightly system may not suit all councils which have differing proportions of suburbia, high density living or industry.
But denying councils the option of exploring the financial benefits experienced by the Alexandrina Council – which has a mix of urban and rural residents – appears shortsighted.
And it is more difficult to understand coming from the Liberal Party which embraced rate capping and peppered its election campaign with numerous examples of wasteful local government expenditure.
What has become clear is that a ‘more of the same’ mentality is not going to solve our waste issues and all sensible options should be examined.Wasteful decision

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.