18 June 2021

Government caves to community pressure on Belco green waste closure

| Ian Bushnell
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Mulching at green waste facility

Mulching at the Canberra Sand and Gravel green waste facility at Parkwood. Photo: Facebook.

The West Belconnen green waste facility slated for closure on 30 June will remain open after a community backlash against the plans.

The ACT Government says residents on Canberra’s northside will continue to be able to drop off green waste at Parkwood in the coming months under a temporary extension while a longer-term solution is found for large-scale composting and green waste management.

Canberra Sand and Gravel’s (CSG) current green waste facility is being relocated so that the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre can be remediated ahead of more residential development in the growing Ginninderry region.

READ MORE Belconnen Town Centre set for 1000 more dwellings but community input to guide development

More than 2,000 Canberrans have signed a petition sponsored by Liberal MLA Peter Cain to keep the facility open. Canberra Sand and Gravel also supported the petition on its website.

Mr Cain, who will table the petition in the Legislative Assembly next week, said the government announcement was a Band-Aid solution, with no timeframe or certainty.

“I have listened to the community and heard loud and clear that they want the green waste recycling service to remain open for business. It is a shame it’s taken the ACT Government so long to provide a temporary solution to the community,” he said.

“The Labor-Greens Government still can’t be trusted to support the population growth of Canberra with appropriate infrastructure and facilities.”

Liberal MLA for Ginninderra Elizabeth Kikkert said Ginninderra residents must now maintain their push for an alternative facility to be opened in the West Belconnen area before the Parkwood facility eventually closed.

“This could all have been avoided if the government had actually consulted the community in the first place,” she said.

“It was obvious that the closure of this site would be massively unpopular and severely impact many people’s livelihoods.

“The reality of driving an hour and a half round trip from Belconnen to the Mugga Lane facility is still looming over many small businesses and community members.”

She called on the government to work with CSG to find a new site in West Belconnen for green waste.

The government says residents can also get a green bin, which is collected fortnightly.

In the meantime, it is identifying alternative sites for combined waste management of major waste streams on the north side.

It has also committed to rolling out food organic and garden organic (FOGO) collection services to all Canberra households in 2023.

This new service will be supported by the construction of a dedicated FOGO composting facility which will significantly increase the ACT’s capacity to process and recycle organic waste, the government says.

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Capital Retro6:31 pm 20 Jun 21

Careful what you wish for or you will cop the FOGO odour as well.

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