The South Burnett Regional Council is expected to survey residents next year about introducing kerbside recycling service in mid-2023 (Photo: JJ Richards)

December 14, 2021

South Burnett Regional Council is expected to survey residents again next year to test their appetite for a kerbside recycling service.

But if the proposal receives a thumbs up, it is unlikely to be introduced until mid-2023 when the existing waste collection services contract with JJ Richards and Sons falls due for renewal.

At present, residents in Blackbutt, Kingaroy, Kumbia, Murgon, Nanango, Proston, Proston Rural, Tingoora, Wondai and Wooroolin pay $179 a year for a weekly single bin waste collection service.

Residents in the Bunya Mountains pay an annual $216 waste management utility charge.

The last time Council surveyed residents about introducing a kerbside recycling scheme was in 2013.

In that survey, the Council sent out 13,486 survey forms and received 40 per cent (5394) back; 31 per cent of respondents said they were willing to pay extra for Council to implement a two wheelie bin system (general waste and recycling).

However, only 7 per cent said they were interested in paying for a three bin system that added another bin for green waste.

In the eight years since the last survey, many national studies have shown that environmental concerns have become a top-of-mind issue with increasing numbers of Australians.

They have also become a top-of-mind issue with the Council after it engaged EnviroCom Australia to conduct an audit of the region’s domestic waste in October.

At December’s Community standing committee meeting, officers reported initial results from EnviroCom’s study, which found almost one-third of the region’s household waste (31.64 per cent) was food scraps and other organic matter that could be converted into compost.

A further third (32.59 per cent) was made up of recyclables (ie. cardboard, plastic and similar items), while the remainder was made up of non-recyclable materials that needed to be sent to landfill.

While EnviroCom’s final Waste Audit Report has yet to be delivered to Council, officers noted that if kerbside recycling was introduced in the South Burnett, it could reduce the amount of waste going into landfill by almost two-thirds.

This would significantly extend the life of existing landfills, postponing the day when the Council will be forced to transport waste to other regions for final disposal – a cost that would be borne by ratepayers.

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