THE introduction of Bathurst’s controversial green waste recycling bin has been hailed a success with new figures showing more than 4000 tonnes of organic waste has been diverted from landfill in the first full year of operation.
Bathurst Regional Council introduced the green bin service in March 2016 to a mix of strong support and heavy criticism from different sections of the community.
While many welcomed the chance to recycle organic garden and kitchen waste, others in the community were angered that the new service – and the new $100 a year waste fee – was not offered on an opt-in basis.
More than 18 months on, though, the Bathurst Region State of the Environment Report has found the new service helped dramatically cut the amount of waste being sent to the Bathurst tip.
“Total waste disposed of to landfill at the Bathurst Waste Management Centre was the lowest in five years, falling by approximately eight per cent over the previous reporting period,” the report states.
“The first full year of the kerbside green waste collection has been a major contributor to this reduction, with 4019 tonnes of organic waste being collected for composting.”
The green bins were also credited with reducing the average total waste per person across the Bathurst region over the past 12 months.
Other key findings of the State of the Environment Report included:
- The Bathurst region population grew by 1.86 per cent between June 2015 and June 2016 to 43,080. The report warned, though, that a growing population can place additional pressures on land, water and resources.
- Record-breaking heat wave conditions from December 2016 through to February 2017 and dry conditions saw very high water use in Bathurst over summer.
- Total rainfall for the reporting period was only slightly below average, but most of the rain fell in the first five months of the reporting period (July to November 2016). A rainfall deficit of 165mm from January to June 2017 combined with heavy early winter frosts saw pasture conditions in the region deteriorate rapidly.
- Increased greenhouse gas emissions from council operations as a result of higher electricity from increased water pumping and higher fugitive methane emissions from the WMC due to problems with the methane flare.