Waste charge fair for everyone on the Coast
  • Wednesday 01 September 2010

Sunshine Coast Council’s decision to impose a minimum waste charge on southern residents, as well as those in the central and northern areas, ensures that every ratepayer contributes fairly to the cost of running the region’s waste business.

Environment Portfolio Councillor,Keryn Jones said that the removal of the waste levy in the southern area is not the reason for imposing a minimum charge; rather it is a move to make charges fairer across the region.

"Under the Caloundra system, group title residences were having their waste services subsidised by the rest of the region’s ratepayers," Cr Jones said.

"Residents of the former Maroochy and Noosa have all paid a minimum waste charge for a long time in recognition that the majority of the costs of managing waste are not directly related to the amount picked up from bins in the kerbside collection service.

"Collection of kerbside wheelie bins is a very small component of the costs associated with managing and disposing of resident’s waste.

"The minimum waste charge ensures that along with wheelie bin collections and disposal or recycling, residents contribute to the cost of managing facilities."

Waste charges pay for:

  • Wheelie bin provision and collection
  • Staffing at council facilities
  • Street and park litter recycling and collections
  • Providing rural transfer stations
  • Maintaining closed landfills for 30 years
  • Waste infrastructure including landfills and resource recovery centres
  • Waste infrastructure for gas capture and
  • Education

Cr Jones said that paying less than $3 per week for this essential service is fair and equitable, She said that despite the minimum waste charge, the Sunshine Coast has one of the cheapest waste services in comparable Queensland areas.

"This decision, among many others, has actually resulted in reduced waste charges for a vast majority of Caloundra residents.

"For instance a 240 litre service prior to amalgamation was $271. Now it is only $199.90. The 140 litre service was $160 - now it’s $151.30.

Cr Jones added that there are many people who do not fill their bin every week however, they also do not have the option to pay a reduced amount.

"Council is reviewing the charging system for 11/12 to assess whether low waste generators can be better rewarded in future," Cr Jones said.

"One way we already do this by having a two tiered charging system for wheelie bins.

"This means that residents who produce less waste and opt for a smaller bin pay significantly less than those with a larger bin."