Domestic green waste can be disposed of free of charge at any Council waste facility from 1 October 2023.
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey requested the report for free green waste disposal be provided to Council through a mayoral minute at Council’s July meeting.
He said the move would be welcomed by residents.
“Council is continually looking at ways to reduce costs to residents and increase liveability of our region,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The waste industry is changing as the state moves towards zero waste to landfill targets and I’m proud of the role Council has played in the past few years in responding to this rapidly changing environment.
“Introducing free domestic green waste disposal will enable residents to access one of our many Council waste facilities throughout the region to dispose of green waste prior to storm season.”
The introduction of free green waste disposal will have an estimated budget impact of $650,000.
Commercial green waste disposal fees will not change.
Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said the initiative had the potential to reduce the amount of green waste currently going to landfill.
“We anticipate that the introduction of free domestic green waste disposal will see a slight increase in the amount of green waste processed into high quality compost in the Bundaberg Region,” Cr McLoughlin said.
“We currently receive about 5,000 tonnes of green waste across all Council waste facilities but expect that, as a result of removing the fee, we will now receive about 13,000 tonnes of green waste for domestic customers alone.
“Anything we can do to reduce waste to landfill is a positive for the environment.”
Residents urged to sort load
Cr McLoughlin said a higher rate of contamination in green waste loads was also a possibility and urged residents to sort their loads appropriately.
To deter contamination of green waste loads a contamination fee of $450 per load will be applied if waste is disposed of in material declared as clean green waste.
“Everything that we receive as green waste is mulched, composted and returned to the environment through someone’s backyard garden or even local farms.
“We have a load inspection system in place but I would urge residents to also be vigilant and ensure that green waste loads are free from contamination.
“Failing to sort green waste loads could result in part of the green waste stockpile needing to be landfilled, which would be a poor environmental outcome and significantly increase costs to Council.
“We need resident support to help make free green waste disposal a viable ongoing option for our community.”