Archive:  Green Waste

Last Updated  15/3/12



Council's New Garden Waste Bins Roll Out

(7/10/11 - C)  Good idea, but there's some confusion 

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has introduced a new service: recycling garden waste, and bins are already on the ground in some areas. 


You can find out more about it by going to Council's website


The principle of having a service to recycle garden waste is a great idea.  However, some residents have reported they don't need or don't want the service / costs, others are wondering why they don't receive the service. 


What is not clear is how the the service operates - for example, what basis is Council using to include/exclude residents?  There doesn't seem to be information about this on Council's website and perhaps it should be added.  There is confusion, and suggestions of conflicting advice being received.  One report is that properties over 1 ha are excluded, and another that only residentially zoned areas are included (although the bins have been provided to other areas).  Some residents get advice that they can opt in or out, others that property owners can request exclusion (no info on whether inclusion can be requested), and yet others that the service of designated areas is mandatory. 


MRRA Says:


Macedon Ranges may well be greener than ever, as Council claims, but it seems to also be more confused than ever.  It would be very helpful if Council can provide more information and certainty about how areas receiving the service are determined, and whether there is an opt-in / opt-out capability available.


Council Decision On Green Waste Charges Shows No Leadership On Environment And Sustainability

(2/4/09 - C)  Disappointment continues as Council decides free green waste disposal is too expensive

An opportunity to show leadership and empathy with community values went begging at the March 25 Council meeting when Macedon Ranges Council resolved to only allow residents to dispose of green waste free of charge for 3 months of the year.  And what months they are:  November, December, and May.  It seems the worst fire months when people try to keep their properties free of litter - January, February and March - aren't on Council's radar. 


The decision to only support residents for 3 months of the year was made after a motion by Cr. Henry McLaughlin to make green waste disposal permanently free of charge was defeated, apparently receiving support from only 3 councillors:  McLaughlin, Benson and Manning.


MRRA Says:


As we understand it, Council would lose some $30,000 in fees currently paid by residents by making the service free. On the other hand, Council apparently recoups more than that through sales of mulch made from the green waste provided by residents.  Wouldn't making it a fee-free service simply make it cost-neutral for Council?  There would be plenty of other benefits in doing it as well: free disposal would encourage residents to keep their properties tidy and reduce bushfire fuel, reduce smoke from burn-offs, and the more green waste Council receives, the more mulch it could sell. 


One explanation put forward for choosing May is that's when residents burn off (deciduous) leaves on Mt. Macedon, causing air pollution.  That's fair enough, but what about the air pollution caused by bushfire, and burning off litter accumulated over summer once the fire ban period is lifted?  If there is genuine concern for air pollution, we say embrace all elements of the problem, not just the easy ones.


Odd, isn't it...  Here's a Council that appears to not be prepared to subsidise a service to the value of $30,000 to reduce impacts from bushfire and to reduce the Shire's environmental impacts from burn-offs - and make money from it too, but does seem prepared to subsidise from rates $250,000 - $500,000 annual loses racked up by indoor swimming pools. Or is the reason Council is baulking at green waste because with the Kyneton pool, it just wouldn't be able to afford anything else?