Heavy on the levy

02. 832NEWS

• John Williams outside the waste transfer facility used by Bayswater council. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

BAYSWATER ratepayers will “likely” pay more for waste collection following the doubling of the WA government’s landfill levy, mayor Sylvan Albert has conceded.

With the fee skyrocketing to $55 a tonne, Bayswater’s bill for the 18,000 tonnes of waste it sends to landfill every year jumps from $495,000 to $990,000.

“It’s likely that it will result in increased waste disposal charges to residents,” the mayor concedes.

“However at this stage, the city can’t specify by how much.”

The government says the fee is going up to encourage councils to recycle more but some doubt its sincerity.

John Williams, president of the Friends of Lightning Swamp, says if the government was serious it would be doing more.

“My concern is there is no state holistic scheme that coordinates all waste from householder/business responsibility through to local government accountability in waste disposal to landfill,” he says.

“Investment and encouragement of down-scale recycling initiatives is poorly supported by state governments and the non-committal by this government to introduce returns on glass/plastic is beyond logic.

“Ratepayers will endure the increasing cost burden for an inefficient and economically unsustainable current landfill policy that is dealing with all aspects of rubbish disposal.”

Bayswater provides ratepayers with three bins and recycles 380 tonnes of green waste and 410 tonnes of recyclable materials.

In neighbouring Stirling, virtually all kerbside waste has gone to landfill since August’s closure of the Atlas recycling facility.

The council is scrambling to implement a three-bin system to avoid being slugged by the new levy in seven months time.

“The city of Stirling is currently looking at all options including the state government’s preferred choice of a three-bin system,” council director Geoff Eves says.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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