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Ballarat Waste Update

Cr John Philips and Anthony Schinck Ballarat CEO.

Integrated Waste Management System

THE City of Ballarat has provided an update on its exciting plans to modernise Council’s waste management system.

Ballarat Mayor Councillor John Philips said Council last year announced it would progress to an economical and innovative integrated waste management system for the city. “As a Councillor group, we have clearly communicated to the community we want to transform the way our waste system operates in this city,” said Mayor Philips.

“Ballarat was one of only two Australian cities to be awarded the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2014,” he said. “This helped us fine-tune a waste management system, which is beneficial for our long-term vision and plan for the city.” Mayor Philips said the project would solve many of the city’s waste challenges, would create jobs and would drive economic development. He said Councillors wanted to focus on two key themes.

“We want to deliver an enhanced waste management system for the city and most importantly, we want to deliver the system in an economical and innovative way,” he said. “We want to do more than simply collect green waste and dump it in a paddock for compost.” “We intend to use green waste as an economic resource to create jobs right here in Ballarat.” “We want green waste collection for our community but we don’t want it to break the bank in terms of what it will cost rate payers.” “For two years Council has been working hard at this; sharing knowledge and findings with Bendigo and Geelong.”

“We wanted to get this right and progress with the smartest option.” “We are now confident green waste services will be delivered to Ballarat in 2016.”

City of Ballarat CEO Anthony Schinck said the project was ground-breaking because it was the first time a Victorian council had attempted to manage waste as an asset rather than a liability.

He said the City of Ballarat was confident the initiative would in turn deliver significant financial advantages for local governments across the state. “We know the true cost of waste, and green waste will only become more expensive as a result of the State Government’s Landfill Levy,” he said. “The escalating cost requires us to change the way we deal with waste.” “Rather than simply putting waste in landfill, which has ongoing and escalating costs, we want to start utilising waste as an economic resource.”

“Communities overseas are already utilising waste as a heat and energy source.” “In Australia it is industry standard to simply put waste in a hole, which is unsustainable, and is creating a significant management problem for future generations.” “The entire industry knows landfill is unsustainable. Future generations will view as absurd the practice of putting waste into a hole in the ground.” Mr Schinck said after two years of detailed work, Council now had a clear process of how to progress the City to an integrated waste management system. “The City of Ballarat’s plan is to divert 65% of waste from landfill to alternate treatment systems.” “We believe we can rollout a system in Ballarat that implements technologies already in use in other parts of the world including Norway, Denmark and Sweden.”

“Our confidence is based on sound and detailed work.”

“Our work commenced in 2014 with the IBM Smarter Cities project, which delivered a clear road map for how we can introduce a system that uses waste as an economic resource rather than a problem to be buried in a hole.”

“Since 2014, Council has been working carefully to develop a process that will result in a private provider joining with Council to deliver a new integrated waste management system.” “These plans were announced as the Clean Ballarat initiative in June 2015,” he said. To support the Clean Ballarat initiative, Council will establish the Clean Ballarat Advisory Committee.

View a copy of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Report 2014 here: http:// www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/ news/august-2015/integratedwaste-managementsystem.aspx