BALLARAT and Greater Bendigo city councils could join forces to bring kerbside green waste collection and an organics processing facility to the region.
Council green waste collections operate in more than half of Victoria’s 79 local government areas, including Geelong and Shepparton, but Ballarat households must rely on commercial collection services or take green waste to a council transfer station.
Ballarat City Council has now received a $500,000 Sustainability Victoria grant that could be used to establish a kerbside service, the catch being it would have to divert at least 8000 tonnes per annum from landfill.
But it would have trouble going it alone.
A report, to be considered by Ballarat City councillors tomorrow, states Ballarat and Bendigo were “collectively” more likely to successfully procure a regional organics processing facility.
Economies of scale for introducing kerbside organic waste collection services from two regional cities could also drive more cost effective service outcomes, it said.
City of Greater Bendigo manager of sustainable environment Robyn Major said the two cities had the same problem — a need to get organics out of the general waste stream.
She said the City of Greater Bendigo was interested in the proposal but a decision would not be made for at least six months, while they investigated its viability.
“If we did get to a joint procurement process, it means we’ve got more options for our waste in doing things to be able to respond,” she said.
“No contracts will be signed without each individual council endorsing it.”
Bendigo has a commercial kerbside green waste collection service, but Ms Major said it was small in comparison to the number of residences in their municipality.
But there were a lot of stumbling blocks to overcome first, she said, including the shortage of organics treatment facilities in the state able to meet all the needs of a council.
“Ballarat and Bendigo being an hour-and-a-half away, where’s this facility going to be?” Ms Major said.
Sustainability Victoria has put together a draft agreement between the two councils.