Vincent takes out shop bins

BUSINESS waste bins will no longer be collected by Vincent council as of mid-2021.

Vincent, which doesn’t have a dedicated commercial waste collection service like Perth, wants traders to switch to private operators. 

The council has been lumbering along collecting business bins as part of its residential pickup system, with businesses needing more than two standard sulo bins paying more to have extras collected (some large restaurants have dozens).

The system’s become increasingly clunky as growing businesses fill verges and alleyways with bins, and with the new FOGO three-bin system coming in October 21 the council has decided it’s time to act. 

It also wants to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and commercial operators have high contamination rates in their recycling bins.

About 15 per cent of Vincent businesses have already switched over to external operators, who can offer bigger bins and more frequent, on-property pickup rather than hauling 20 sulos to the kerb. 

Savings

It may also save larger businesses money: A big restaurant paying the council for 32 extra bins will save about $2,000 a year under a commercial operator.

The council’s own Beatty Park Leisure Centre cut its waste cost from $15,000 a year to less than $5,000 by hiring Perth council’s big bin service to make a detour across the border.

But micro businesses could take a slight hit in the switch: In the council’s modelling a small hairdresser might pay $19 more per year. 

Mayor Emma Cole tells us there are still details to be worked out over the next nine months and people won’t be left without a pickup if they haven’t organised an alternative in time. 

“It’s a big change and we’re trying to talk to businesses to make it as successful as possible. 

“If there are businesses that say to us ‘we just want a FOGO system and that would work for us’… I’m certainly open to that”.  

The council would save $920,000 a year by not collecting commercial bins and has proposed using the savings on a $520 rebate to traders to smooth the transition, with further rebates considered at the next budget time. 

Councils are obliged by state law to pick up household waste, but not commercial. Some do anyway, with Perth, Fremantle and Stirling running a full commercial waste system, while others like Joondalup and Wanneroo make businesses seek external services.

Other councils already using the three-bin FOGO system including Melville and East Fremantle haven’t rolled it out to commercial collections yet. 

by DAVID BELL

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