Q: Do my rates cover any increased cost for a new green bin service?

    A: No. Household waste and recycling services are funded by the Domestic Waste Charge which appears on your rates notice. Any increased cost for a new green bin would be an increase to the Domestic Waste Charge. This is because Council, by law, cannot use general rates to fund waste services.

    NOTE: The additional income from the rate increase, commencing 1 July 2015, is dedicated to maintaining and improving existing infrastructure and services, continuing environmental programs, and improving emergency preparedness and response.

    Q: If a green bin was to be introduced under option A or B, could I choose not to have one?

    A: No. Any changes would apply to all households.

    Q: When would the new service to manage household waste begin?

    A: 1 July 2016.

    Q: Would there be a single bin for the food and garden waste in Option A?

    A: Yes, food scraps and garden waste would go into a single green bin.

    Q: Why would the kerbside chipping service stop with the introduction of a green bin?

    A: Branches and prunings would be managed through the green bin. The green bin would replace the chipping service.

    Q: Won’t my garbage bin smell if it is collected fortnightly in Option A?

    A: Food scraps are the main source of smell in most garbage bins. Your green bin would be collected weekly for Option A.

    Q: Would I have to pick up my new bin from Council?

    A: No. New bins would be delivered to your property.

    Q: Would my bin collection day change?

    A: Possibly. Residents would be notied if any changes are made.

    Q: What if I need a larger or smaller bin, for my recycling or garbage?

    A: You will be able to request larger and smaller bins but these may come at an additional cost.

    Q: In Option A, would Council provide kitchen caddies and biodegradable bags for food scrap

    A: The costs outlined in this brochure do not include the supply of kitchen caddies and biodegradable bags for food scraps; however Council could provide them at cost price to interested residents. Alternatively, a plastic container, lined with newspaper could be used.

    Why are there only 3 options?

    Over the past 2.5 years Council has conducted exhuastive research, modelling and costing of 65 different combinations of waste service options; collection frequency, materials collected and treatment options. The analysis of these looked not only at costs but also a multitude of risks and benefits. Based on the comprehensive analysis, the three options presented to the community for consideration
    offer the best value.

    Why is there no option to keep our existing recycling service?

    The current ‘small bin’ weekly recycling service will be changing to a ‘large bin’ fortnightly service in 2016. This will save Council and the community an estimated $10 million over 10 years. Council had already resolved to do this, separately from the current consultation on green bins.

    A 240 litre recycling bin collected fortnightily is identified by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority as the preferred standard of service for homes in NSW. A move to this system will bring the City of Blue Mountains in line with current industry best practice.  While this does represent a 40
    litre reduction in the collection capacity per fortnight, an ‘extra large’ 360 litre bin will be available for a small additional fee for those households that need more capacity. The fee reflects the additional cost that the contractor would charge for the 360 litre bins to be emptied. Residents will also be able to keep the small 140 litre recycling if they prefer.

    Can I choose not to have a green bin in Option A or B is introduced?

    To make a green bin service affordable, the cost would have to be spread across all households. Council will consider allowing residents to not have a green bin, but they would still have to pay for the service.

    Other Councils offer a free green bin.

    The cost of Council waste services in NSW are, by law, passed on to rate payers in the form of a domestic waste charge. Blue Mountains City Council would, inline with most councils,  offset the cost of a green bin service with a fortnightly recycling and/or fortnightly garbage collections.

    Why doesn’t council process the green waste themselves and make money from it?

    The risks and costs of this option were investigated recently during the development of Council’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy. This option would cost more and have greater risks than sending the material to an established, privately operated composting facility. Full details of this are available in the ‘Waste Management Option Study’ which is now available on Council’s Have Your Say website.

    Waste collected in the green bin will be sent to landfill anyway.

    All waste collected in the green bins would be taken to a privately operated composting facility where it
    will be composted to meet Australian Standards. The private operator is then responsible for finding  suitable markets for that material. It would be written into any contracts that the compost product cannot be sent to landfill.

    Under Option A & B why no chipping?

    All the material currently chipped could be composted via the green bin. The cost saving made from
    replacing the chipping service would offset the cost of the green bin. Offering both services is not considered affordable or value for money.