Campbelltown City Council top in waste management

Campbelltown City Council in New South Wales was named Most Improved in contamination management for kerbside collected organics at the recent inaugural Compost Ball. Council was also recognised for housing the most innovative kerbside collected organics contract.

Held as part of International Composting Awareness Week, the Compost Ball was a fundraising event to support a small community employment composting venture at Aceh in Indonesia. With the soils in Aceh ravaged by the Boxing Day tsunami, Ball profits will help local farmers reclaim land, while creating employment at the same time.

The Compost Leadership Awards were developed to foster improvements in sustainable waste collection and processing. They were open to both the private and public sector.

Campbelltown Mayor, Councillor Aaron Rule, said the Contamination Management Award recognised the outstanding work Council has achieved in waste management.

“From 1999 to 2003, some 16 per cent of the green waste collected in Campbelltown’s organic bins was contaminated,” he said. “This caused most of the green waste to end up as landfill.”

To help combat this high contamination rate, motorcycle inspectors began to identify contaminated bins with stickers. These bins would not be emptied until residents had cleaned them.

Contamination is also monitored through the use of camera technology in waste collection trucks, enabling drivers to view bin contents via a monitor. If bins are contaminated, the offender’s address is recorded, and a warning letter is issued.

For repeat offenders, Council’s Waste Education Officer visits the resident and discusses the issue.

“Council’s Repeat Offenders Program was implemented four years ago,” Mayor Rule said. “During this time, contamination levels have steadily decreased and are now holding consistently at less than one per cent.

“Campbelltown is now able to deliver clean recyclable waste to its contractor, with organic waste suitable for processing into high level compost and soil mixes.”

The second award, which was won in partnership with Camden, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly Councils, was for the most innovative organics recovery contract.

“In recent years, Camden, Campbelltown, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly Councils joined together to seek an environmentally sound solution to the disposal of domestic waste, recyclables and garden organics,” Mayor Rule said.

“In a region where the population is set to increase dramatically during the next 20 years, our Councils required a solution that would maximise resource recovery, and divert as much waste as possible away from landfill.”

In August 2006, the Councils signed an historic 15 year contract with WSN Environmental Solutions.

The Macarthur Resource Recovery Park is now under construction at WSN’s Jacks Gully site.

The contract includes an enclosed tunnel composting facility for processing kerbside collected organics. 

This will ensure a speedy composting process and the highest possible standard of odour control. 

“Even in the domestic garbage stream, recyclables will be recovered, as will the organic component, which will be separated and composted,” Mayor Rule said. “This will result in more than 70 per cent of domestic garbage being diverted from landfill.

“By working together, the four Councils will exceed the New South Wales Government’s target of a 66 per cent reduction of waste to landfill six years earlier than the target date of 2014. This will in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23,000 tonnes a year.”

Penrith City Council was also recognised at the awards, taking out the most progressive recycled organics purchasing policy.

Council received the award for its contract commitment to purchase back recycled organics for use in its parks and gardens.