HomeUncategorizedEXCLUSIVE: Shire recycling scheme costing ratepayers thousands of dollars in lost time...

EXCLUSIVE: Shire recycling scheme costing ratepayers thousands of dollars in lost time and wages

EXCLUSIVE

Murrindindi Shire recycling collection vehicles are costing ratepayers a fortune in lost time, wages and vehicle maintenance as recycling collection trucks drive from Alexandra, Yea, Kinglake and other shire townships to a recycling depot on the corner of Waterdale Road and Banksia Street, Bellfield (Heidelberg Heights) to empty full recycling collection trucks.

Kinglake Ranges News followed Murrindindi Shire waste collection vehicles over several weeks after wondering why shire branded (Murrindindi Shire logo on trucks) waste collection vehicles were regularly sighted at the Kingsbury Drive/Waterdale Road intersection whilst leaving La Trobe University.

Following several unsuccessful attempts to contact the shire for comment, Murrindindi Shire’s manager of Waste Collection Services, Joshua Russell finally contacted Kinglake Ranges News.

“Our collection contractor [Cleanaway] has to take recycling collected from the kerbside down to Banyule [Bellfield] to the Visy Recycling owned Banyule [Shire] waste recovery facility there to be sorted and processed,” Russell said.

“There are no facilities of this type in our shire, indeed there are very few in the state and most are based in Melbourne.

“There is a cost to Council to have the recyclable material collected, however our contract with Visy currently allows for a payment to council that partially offsets that cost. We have one recycle truck which goes down to Banyule  and collects on a 9 day schedule around the shire so that there is a spare day up our sleeve.

“This arrangement works very well, and both the time and financial arrangement have allowed Murrindindi Shire Council to charge lower waste and recycling charges than many similar small rural Councils,” Russell said.

In non-peak times, this is a two-hour,  88.6 km return trip from the Whittlesea-Yea Road/Kinglake Rd intersection at Kinglake West to Heidelberg via Plenty Rd, Kingsbury Drive and Waterdale Road.

From Alexandra via the Goulburn Valley Highway to Visy in Bellfield this is an approximate three-hour forty minute return trip of 125km each way.

If traveling during peak times, or during construction ‘blitzes’ of the Mernda railway extension these times almost double.

Ratepayers are paying for this lost time in drivers’ wages, time lost in the collection of recyclable materials and vehicle maintenance on waste collection days.

“All landfill [rubbish in red bins] waste collected in our shire is transported to the Alexandra landfill to be disposed. This landfill is operated by [Murrindindi] council, with much of the waste charges collected through the rates going toward the construction, operation and rehabilitation of the landfill,” Russell added.

Why rubbish collected in Kinglake is not transferred to the Kinglake landfill instead of being driven to Alexandra, again costing ratepayers in time and drivers’ wages is another question.

Recycling is supposed to benefit the environment but how up to four hours of driving (exhaust pollutants) and wear and tear on the collection vehicles (tyre and mechanical wear and tear) is actually helping to ‘save the environment’.

 


Visy and Cleanaway did not respond to requests for comment.

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