The ACT Government has made a surprise announcement today that its $1.7 million green bin pilot program for garden waste collection will expand into Tuggeranong before it’s even begun in Weston Creek and Kambah.
With more than 5000 Weston Creek and Kambah households having registered since May for the service, which is due to commence early next year, the Government has gone for an early call on the next phase of its rollout. Tuggeranong residents can register from today for green bin collection to commence from mid-2017.
At the time the pilot program was announced, ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said it would run for 12 months and would help determine the cost of rolling green bins out to the rest of the territory, how many trucks would be required, how often collections should occur and the impact on existing waste facilities.
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While the rollout is in theory dependent on the election outcome in October, given the Canberra Liberals took a commitment to offer a green bin garden waste collection service for the whole of Canberra to the 2012 election, it would seem more likely that they will trump rather than oppose this move. Their policy on the issue this time around is yet to be announced.
Ms Fitzharris said the ACT Government would provide green bin services to more Canberra regions via a phased rollout in time.
“Garden waste collected from the kerb will be processed, recycled and made available through commercial providers. The tender for these services will be finalised ahead of the pilot,” she said.
“I encourage interested Tuggeranong residents to register their interest now in receiving a green bin at www.act.gov.au/greenbins.
“Residents in Kambah and Weston Creek can still register as well.”
The announcement comes in the same week as the news that the CBRfree public wifi network being operational in Tuggeranong, and a couple of weeks after the opening of Tuggeranong’s first CIT campus. Two sitting Labor MLAs in the Tuggeranong seat of Brindabella who are up for re-election in October are quoted in the press release in addition to Ms Fitzharris:
Local MLA Joy Burch welcomed the announcement and said, “I have received significant feedback from Tuggeranong residents about the services they want the Government to provide and I am confident that green bins will be a welcome addition to help people manage their garden waste in a responsible and cost effective way.”
Local MLA Mick Gentleman added, “Tuggeranong homes have many mature trees and well established gardens, making this is a logical next step for the service.”
Households will be able to opt in to the service for a one-off, cost-recovery deposit of around $50, with bins collected every fortnight. Pensioners and concession card holders will receive their bin without providing a deposit. Apartment residents and other households who do not need the service or would prefer not to participate can opt out.
The bins would be for garden refuse only, not household compost such as food scraps.