PARENTS of babies and toddlers are dreading the new three bin garbage collection system to be introduced across the Bass Coast Shire next year.
The system is part of the new 10-year, $66 million Waste Management contract awarded on Wednesday, July 20.
The decision to change the collection of the 120 litre general refuse bin from a once week pick up to fortnightly has divided the community.
Those with children in disposable nappies struggle to fit everything in the general waste bin on a weekly basis.
Others, though, see the new system as a win for the environment.
The new three bin system will include a new 240 litre organics bin to be collected weekly, a 240 litre fortnightly recycling collection, and the 120 litre residual waste bin to be reduced to a fortnightly collection.
Marina Healey, a mother from Phillip Island, said her family of four struggles to make it through the week with the already existing general refuse bin.
“I run family day care from home, and every day the day care produces a small bag of rubbish and an average of five or so nappies.
“I find at the moment that our general waste bin is jam packed by the end of the week, although we are huge recyclers and send all our organic waste to the compost.
“I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for a normal sized family.”
The council though says that an estimated 72 per cent of waste that is, via the current system, simply thrown into the general waste bin will be diverted into the new organics and green waste bin.
But residents of the shire have expressed concerns about hygiene, odours and even rodents as their weekly rubbish collection changes to a fortnightly pickup.
The council says it will be up to householders to correctly sort their refuse into the new three bin system.
A kitchen caddy will be supplied for in-house use for assistance.
Items that could potentially cause smell, such as all food scraps including meat can be put into the new green waste bin and collected by the council once a week, and include food scraps, meat, bones, old tissues, eggshells, tea bags and coffee grinds, kitty litter, fruit and vegetables, garden clippings, and even pizza boxes.
Items that will remain within the third general refuse bin are plastic bags, plastic film, plant pots, household rubbish, food packaging that cannot be recycled, as well as other items that cannot be recycled.
The waste from the green organics bin will be taken to the Soil and Organic Recycling Facility at Dutson Downs near Sale, where it will be broken down and recycled into a natural composting and fertilising material.
Bass Coast mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said she was pleased with the move towards a more sustainable future for the shire.
“Shires in the north west of Victoria have already implemented this system very successfully,” Mayor Crugnale said.
“We are not the first shire to undertake this practice. It’s all about reducing the waste that we send to landfill. The implementation of the third bin aims to streamline the waste produced by households.
“It’s all about turning waste into a commodity, not a liability.”
Tammy Logan, who runs the online blog Gippsland Unwrapped about waste reduction in the home, said that this move by the council was a step in the right direction, and agrees with the shire’s decision to be proactive with waste.
“I think that’s an important point people miss when they talk about waste and wanting extra bins or bigger bins.
“There’s a lot that people can do fairly easily to make a big difference, regardless of the size of your family,” Tammy said.
Tammy, who has a family of four people and has only produced a small jar of non-recyclable waste since January this year, says that it is up to individuals and households to be more proactive with the amount of waste they produce, regardless of family size.
“One of the major things people can do it start composting. That takes nearly half of the waste out of your general waste. Smell and rodents will only occur if you don’t use this new system properly.
“I don’t think the council would have done this if it wasn’t economically viable or environmentally sustainable.
“It’s good to get people to start thinking about their waste separating, and not just lumping it all into the general waste bins.”
The roll-out of the new three bin system will commence in September 2017, with the council saying there is the opportunity for households to obtain extra bins if needed.