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Green waste service for Ballarat

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FROM July 2016 green garden waste will be collected from more than 30,000 singledwelling urban residential properties in Ballarat, Buninyong and Learmonth for a 12 month period. The green waste service is part of the City of Ballarat’s plan to reduce the amount of waste to landfill, which will ultimately reduce costs for Council and ratepayers, and improve the environment. The service will divert residential green waste from landfill by recycling it into compost.

Green waste will be collected fortnightly, on alternate weeks to recycling collection, and will ultimately be taken to a specialised composting facility to be processed for landscaping and agricultural purposes. The City of Ballarat will deliver the service for the first 12 months to collate information for the future delivery of waste services in Ballarat, including the development of a Waste to Energy facility at the Ballarat West Employment Zone.

A Clean Ballarat Advisory Committee is in the process of being established and will lead the 12 month service review.

Affected properties will receive industry standard 240 litre bins with lime green lids, which will be provided by the City of Ballarat with the support of Sustainability Victoria. The bins are expected to be delivered to properties in June 2016.

Householders are advised to ensure only green garden waste is put in their bin. This is vital to reduce the likelihood of contamination, which could increase the City of Ballarat’s cost to process the product. The City of Ballarat will undertake a community education program prior to the service’s commencement. The green waste service cost of $60-$70 per annum will be added to the waste charge for affected properties. Ballarat’s population is forecast to exceed 142,000 residents by 2031, which is an increase of 40,000 residents in the next 16 years. Ballarat is therefore faced with increasing environmental challenges including landfill capacity and a need to reduce methane emissions and offset carbon emissions.

The City of Ballarat also recognises the current practice of sending waste to landfill is expensive and unsustainable.

The City of Ballarat therefore aims to lead the state with an economical and innovative integrated waste management system by 2020.

This Clean Ballarat initiative is expected to solve many of the city’s waste challenges, including reducing waste to landfill; to create jobs; and to drive economic development. Clean Ballarat is ground-breaking because it is the fi rst time a Victorian council has attempted to manage waste as an economic asset rather than a liability, which will in turn deliver financial advantages for local governments and ratepayers across Victoria. Clean Ballarat’s flagship component is a Waste to Energy processing facility within the new Ballarat West Employment Zone. BWEZ is Ballarat’s engine room for jobs and economic growth over the next 20 years.

The Waste to Energy Facility would involve diverting around 30,000 tonnes of waste from landfi ll by implementing technology in use in other parts of the world including Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The system would drive the following outcomes: deliver secure and affordable energy, heat (steam) and chill to existing industry; develop and support new industry; and sustain and improve the community’s financial and environmental future. A green waste service is the first step towards implementing an integrated waste management system in Ballarat.

It will allow the City of Ballarat to reduce the airspace that is consumed at the landfill, reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, and return carbon and nutrients to Western Victorian soils.