Future Directions - South Australia – Port Pirie Regional Council. No waste in overhaul.

Port Pirie Regional Council has completely overhauled the management of its waste services last year, involving a multi-pronged approach that includes many major changes.

The Three Chain Road landfill has been closed and is entering rehabilitation. This is a massive multi-year, multi-million dollar project that is required to meet EPA guidelines and Council’s closure management plan.The landfill was officially closed on June 30, 2013. 

Council commenced the rehabilitation of the site a number of years ago and has accelerated its efforts once the landfill was officially closed in June 2013. This is a ten–year, $4.3m project for council.

Construction of a state of the art $3.5 million fully enclosed transfer station for domestic and commercial waste and recyclables was also undertaken. This included office facilities, a weighbridge, a cashier’s booth, a shed for deposited materials, and internal storage areas for items collected. The facility was completed in May 2013 and officially opened in June 2013.

Council has also rolled out nearly 16,000 bins to 8,200 properties during March 2013, with the first pickup occurring in the first week of April 2013. This is the first time Council has implemented a three bin kerbside collection service.

Council has also overseen the preparation of a Waste Pathways Strategy which outlines how various waste streams will be recovered, treated and/or disposed of, as well as implementing a waste management charge for the first time.

Council has also launched multiple media campaigns addressing waste management including an anti-litter campaign involving local youth and a local production team who produced an advert which went to air in early 2013 and continues to play on local TV.

This also involved a strong social media presence with the advert, plus the ‘making of the advert’ video which has been receiving many views on YouTube.

Implementation of an illegal dumping campaign involving advertisements, signage, surveillance and prosecutions was also undertaken. This was given a distinctive Port Pirie focus and was launched in July 2013, costing less than $5,000.  Social media was also used to promote this campaign.

Extensive community consultation and education has been undertaken to complement these strategies. This included presenting to community groups and service clubs, web site information, media releases, extensive use of social media, shopping centre displays, Council newsletters, and the distribution of a kerbside collection calendar with the assistance of Keep South Australia Beautiful (KESAB) and Zero WasteSA.

Port Pirie Regional Council’s Director Infrastructure Kathryn Johnson identified that Council has managed to reduce its waste to landfill by approximately 60 percent, significantly reduced the amount of litter at local facilities; and minimised the amount of additional material illegally dumped around Port Pirie.

Port Pirie also has nil contamination reported in recyclables and minimal in green waste kerbside collection, and a reduction in labour requirements.

Mrs Johnson said that Council’s Waste Management Strategy has attracted the attention of the waste industry and other Councils for the initiatives implemented.