Ballarat City Council will pump more than $5.5 million into its new green waste system over five years.
Council costings obtained by The Courier estimated capital cost to roll-out the green waste service would reach about $1.5 million by 2020.
The council will also fork out $800,000 annually to foot the bill for operational costs which included paying for extra rubbish trucks to be leased and full-time staff members. By 2020, the council will have paid $1.5 million in capital costs and $4 million in operational costs.
But Ballarat mayor Des Hudson said the long-term waste management savings and environmental benefits far outweighed the new system’s multi-million dollar price tag.
“Every residential property qualifying for the new scheme will have received a green bin so the initial start up costs have been covered and we will see a reduction in capital costs in subsequent years,” he said. “Overall the new waste system is about reducing the amount of waste that is going to our landfills which will save ratepayers thousands of dollars long-term.”
More than 30,000 households signed up to the fortnightly waste removal will be locked in for the next year.
Under the proposal, any dwellings on land sized between 250 square metres and 4,000 square metres in Ballarat, Buninyong, Learmonth and Miners Rest are automatically signed up.
Cr Hudson said the city was also looking to Europe for guidance in its 20 year vision for a bio-energy plant. Cr Hudson recently embarked on a council funded trip to Finland under a memorandum of understanding between VTT Finland and City of Ballarat for the future development of a bio-energy plant. Finland is considered global leaders in the bio-energy field.
Cr Hudson said he spent a day city which is about the same distance from Helsinki as Ballarat is to Melbourne. People in the city used communal bins which provided seven different waste options. Cr Hudson said it meant the waste no longer ended up in landfills and instead was used to produce heat and electricity.
“It has a similar sized population to Ballarat but due to its revolutionary waste model, 95 per cent of their waste is able to be generated into energy,” he said.
While an identical model wouldn’t work in Ballarat because most homes in Lassko were inside apartment buildings, Cr Hudson it provided the council with tips on viable alternatives for waste.
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