A war of words has erupted over green waste bins, after South Coast MP Shelley Hancock weighed into the discussion, enraging the mayor.
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Posting on her Facebook page on May 31, Mrs Hancock posed the question, ‘Should Shoalhaven City Council introduce a kerbside organic waste collection service?’.
Mrs Hancock also noted the NSW Government’s grant packages for organic waste services, available through the Waste Less Recycle More program.
“The NSW Government has made $8 million in grants available, in addition to the $19.4 million already allocated, to assist councils introduce and enhance kerbside organic bin collection services,” she wrote.
The post didn’t sit well with Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley, who responded with her own Facebook post, saying she “wished” the state member would “butt out” of council’s business.
“Council is currently conducting a waste strategy consultation. Meanwhile, the local [state] member is asking do you want a green bin,” Cr Findley said.
“Seriously. Instead of making these bland attention-grabbing statements, how about doing something real by changing the classification of Shoalhaven to a rural council for waste levy purposes.”
Cr Findley has been contact for comment.
Councillor Andrew Guile also weighed in on the debate, pointing out Cr Findley’s vote against an organic waste service in 2010.
“I have always supported having an organics bin,” he said.
“We had a red hot go at doing it in 2010, but unfortunately, then Councillor Findley, voted it down. We lost by only one vote, it was her vote we needed.”
Cr Guile said it was “good” to see Mrs Hancock supporting green bins.
Currently, 21 per cent of red bins in the Shoalhaven are filled with garden waste, which could be reused and saved from landfill.
Add the meat, dairy and other putrescible waste, and council would be reducing its waste levy, Cr Guile said.
He said although there was a cost adopting an organics waste bin, there was potential to make savings by reducing the amount of landfill needed.
“If you take the green waste, paper and other putrescible waste out of the red bins and into an organics bin, there is a lot less going to landfill and a lot less going to the levy,” Cr Guile said.
“Those organic bin products can be turned into a product that is resalable, like fertilizer.”
Cr Guile said the council had gone from “leading the way” on waste reduction, to being “at the bottom of the list in NSW”. He said almost “every local government area” in the state had green bins as part of their waste strategies.
Shellharbour City Council, Eurobodalla Shire Council, Bega Valley Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Wingecarribee Shire Council all have green waste collection services.
Goulburn council was granted more than $500,000 from the State Government to get their service off the ground in February 2018. The money was spent rolling out 240L organic waste bins for fortnightly collection and an educational program.
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