South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann (Photo: SBRC)

August 13, 2013

The South Burnett Regional Council will seek quotes on the true cost of operating a recycling program after a recent survey indicated a majority of respondents were in favour of the idea.

However a proposal in the same survey to introduce a green waste collection service did not receive majority support and will not be pursued.

Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said today the survey had indicated the introduction of recycling bins could cost $80 per annum, but this figure was only an estimate.

Council is now seeking tenders from potential operators to determine the true cost of introducing a recycling service.

Once this is known, a further round of public consultations would take place.

The Mayor said the purpose of the survey was to determine the level of community support for the idea when a cost was involved.

“If you ask most people if they’re in favour of recycling they’ll say yes,” he said.

“But if you ask if they’re in favour of paying for that service, the numbers drop away sharply.

The Mayor said no refuse collection service could be operated without cost, so the purpose of the survey was to find the true level of support a paid service would attract.

“The question we’re facing as a region is that all our current waste disposal facilities have a limited lifespan. All of them will be filled in the next five to 15 years,” he said.

“Council will then have to develop new facilities somewhere else, and each one is likely to cost up to $6 million.

“But recycling would allow us to roughly double the current lifespan of our landfills. So over the longer term, ratepayers would wind up paying less than if we continue to fill our landfills at the current rate.

“All the same, this is a choice that South Burnett ratepayers have to make. All we can do as a Council is find out the facts and figures and then put the case in front of everyone so residents can make the choice.”

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