Waste strategy update given nod by Greater Shepparton City Council

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Greater Shepparton City Council this week voted to adopt a revised Waste and Resource Recovery Management Strategy 2013-2023, focusing on a balance between accessibility, affordability and sustainability.

The council adopted the strategy and action plan in 2013 with an aim of reducing waste to landfill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing recycling efforts.

The 10-year strategy provided a mid-term review opportunity which has now been undertaken with public consultation. One hundred and five submissions were received from the public with the most popular initiative being the introduction of two hard rubbish collections per year.

Cr Dennis Patterson shared his views on the issue at the ordinary council meeting on Tuesday night, concerned about the extra costs associated with the introduction of this initiative.

‘‘I can see the need but as time goes on I’ve changed my mind on how I feel about them,’’ he said.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe echoed the concerns of Cr Patterson after the council meeting.

Cr O’Keeffe said the council had looked into hard rubbish collection in other councils of similar size, which raised concerns in regards to cost and unorganised dumping.

‘‘I still think we need to have a conversation about how we can help community members that perhaps do struggle removing hard rubbish and what can council do.’’

Cr O’Keeffe said she had been lobbying for free tip vouchers to become part of the council’s waste plan.

‘‘I will continue that because I think we need to be able to assist in some form,’’ she said.

She said the conversations would need to continue as the issue of illegal dumping became more prevalent in the community.

‘‘It’s a good strategy and moving forward I think we all need to just try and get the messaging out a bit better.’’

The updated strategy will continue to guide the environmental and waste management goals and objectives outlined in the council plan 2017-2021.