Recycling costs are set to rise for ratepayers

The fee Wollongong City Council charges ratepayers to collect their yellow-topped bins is set to rise. But the council still has faith in the recycling system.
The fee Wollongong City Council charges ratepayers to collect their yellow-topped bins is set to rise. But the council still has faith in the recycling system.

Wollongong City Council is not concerned about the recycling crises, citing its contract with waste manager Visy.

But the council is looking at hiking up annual waste collection charges by as much as $10 for a yellow-topped bin.

There is concern across the recycling sector after China – which was where most of Australia’s recycling went – imposed limits on imported recyclables.

This has led to increasing stockpiles of recyclable materials looking for a home and some waste collection companies wanting to renegotiate contracts with council to cover suddenly rising costs.

At least one waste collector in Victoria stopped collecting bins until several councils coughed up more money.

Under the arrangement with Visy, over 90 per cent of the contents collected at the kerbside is recycled.

Wollongong City Council spokesman

The Wollongong City Council spokesman said the organisation still had faith in the recycling system because it was “a convenient and successful way to divert large volumes of recyclable materials from landfill”.

“The materials collected in these bins are processed by Visy Recycling,” the spokesman said.

“Under the arrangement with Visy, over 90 per cent of the contents collected at the kerbside is recycled.”

The spokesman did not state whether Visy has asked to renegotiate its contract with council.

However, he did say council had proposed a 1.5 per cent increase to the cost of domestic waste management, which includes the processing of yellow-topped recycling bins.

That 1.5 per cent increase equates to $10 a year on the standard 240-litre yellow-topped bin.

If approved by council, the increased fee will be introduced in the 2018-19 financial year.

Meanwhile, claiming the refund for bottles and cans under the Return and Earn scheme just got a little easier.

St Vincent de Paul has opened up the region’s first automated depot – in Unanderra.

Rather than insert bottles and cans one by one into a reverse vending machine, they can be dumped by the boxload into the device.

The machine separates the cans and bottles, counts the total number and then offers the refund – via cash or EFT.

The refund can also be given as a donation to St Vincent de Paul.

The facility is at 10-12 Investigator Drive, Unanderra.

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