BALLINA Shire Council has dismissed an idea from local businesses to set up street composting bins in the Lennox Head CBD.
The question, raised by a number of local business owners and residents, looked into the possibility to have a third bin on Lennox Head street waste to cater for compostable materials.
At the Ballina Shire “B” Ward Committee meeting on July 20, councillors were advised there was support for such a move among “a growing number of business owners” in Lennox Head, “as cafes tend to be moving towards compostable packaging and new bins are likely to be included in the town centre upgrade”.
Lloyd Isaacson, Manager Resource Recovery at Ballina Shire Council, said the idea was good but the practical implications of putting in place pointed in the opposite direction.
“We don’t support the introduction of public place organic bins, because they are notoriously difficult, challenging, expensive and with negligible environmental benefits,” he said.
Mt Isaacson said organic bins in public places normally carry a high risk of contamination of the organic material.
“If you have a full truck of organics and you get contaminated organic bins from a public place, the whole truck would be contaminated and that would waste a lot of that resource,” he said.
“There is still a lot of confusion in regards to packaging, Some businesses may have compostable packaging, which is fantastic, but it has to be to a certain Australian standard, otherwise it may contain material that cannot be composted.”
The council manager said the idea of setting up street composting bins would also mean extra resources needed to service such facilities.
“It would require additional truck movement, because we cannot collect that material in the same track (as general waste), and they also need to be collected on a high frequency, and that would mean a lot more council tracks through the main street of Lennox Head, more often, to ensure the bins don’t smell or get too full, ” he said.
“One program that is available to businesses is through North East Waste, looking at how they can support cafes and other businesses to better recycle and introduce organic services”.