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Clarence Valley Council's domestic waste collection
In July 2012 the beginning of a new 10 year waste contract with JR Richards and Sons enabled the Clarence to move forward in reducing waste to landfill and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With our community's support our aim was to divert 60% of domestic waste from landfill, an increase of 20% saving 40,000 tonnes of landfill space over the next ten years and significantly reducing the Clarence Valley's carbon footprint. Currently we have passed our target and have reached 65% diversion from landfill, so well done Clarence Valley!
Council believes that a weekly green waste collection that includes all food waste and the provision of a larger 360 litre yellow recycling bin without a divider has made it simpler to recover valuable resources that are otherwise ending up as landfill.
If you or a member of your family has a long term medical condition that produces medical waste that creates an unhygienic environment, JR Richards may be able to offer a weekly red bin collection at no extra charge. This is a community service provided by waste contractor JR Richards for disadvantaged members of our community. Please write a brief letter to the General Manager, Clarence Valley Council Locked Bag 23 Grafton outlining the medical condition and include your address and telephone number. You will be advised by Council once your application has been assessed.
If you are elderly or have a physical condition that makes it difficult for you to take your bins to the kerb and you don’t have family or neighbours to help, JR Richards staff may be able to help. Please telephone JR Richards on our waste hotline 1800 335 599.
Background behind the changes to the waste contract
Back in 2011-12 the Clarence Valley was diverting only 40% of domestic waste from landfill through the kerbside recycling and greenwaste service. The State Government however challenged Councils to meet a diversion target of 66%. To meet this challenge and to reduce our State waste tax burden, we have had to explore innovative solutions to recover more recyclables and, in particular, more organic material from the waste stream.
From our waste audit of domestic bins throughout the Clarence Valley in 2009 we found that 30% of waste in our red bins is food waste. We also found an alarming 17% of paper and cardboard and 12% glass and other recyclables in our community’s red bins.
What is it that our community needs to encourage better recycling? Through our Bang the Table online forum some residents requested larger yellow recycling bins and many requested a weekly green service.
Council maintains that a weekly green waste collection that includes all food waste and the provision of a larger 360 litre yellow recycling bin makes it simpler to recover valuable resources that otherwise would end up as landfill.
Benefits of the current service
Food waste in landfill is a problem as it creates methane, a potentially harmful greenhouse gas. Food waste also takes up valuable landfill space, reducing the life of the landfill. Diverting food waste from landfill and converting it into a valuable resource-through composting, worm farming and feeding to the chooks is a more sustainable choice.
Organics recycling facility (ORF)
Recycling facilities using leading edge technology have seen the Clarence forge ahead in resource recovery joining neighbouring councils Coffs Harbour, Ballina, Bellingen, Kempsey, Lismore, Port Macquarie and Nambucca in the recycling of food waste. Our fully enclosed composting facility was developed at the Grafton Regional Landfill. The facility converts our collected food and garden waste into high quality compost and soil conditioners.
Materials recycling facility (MRF)
The Grafton Regional Landfill is also home to a new state of the art Recycling centre designed to process all of the Valley's domestic and commercial recyclables. Investment in the local recycling infrastructure has generated direct and indirect local employment opportunities. Another positive aspect of the contract has seen residents given the option of a larger 360 litre recycling bin to encourage greater recovery rates for plastics, glass, aluminum, steel, paper and cardboard.
Domestic waste charges
As for the cost of the service, the Clarence Valley maintains the enviable position of having the lowest waste management costs in the region. See our Fees and Charges for current waste management fees.