The benefits of Council’s Household Bulky Waste Drop-Off event are being championed by Camilla Kerr-Ruston, the convener of the community group, Reduce Reuse Recycle (R3)Kiama.
The contrast between it and kerbside collections, in terms of how much ends up in landfill and how much that costs, is stark.
“Every tonne of landfill that goes to Dunmore now costs us $390, so if we can reduce that the whole of the community is winning, as well as the environment,” she says.
According to Council’s 2017-8 Annual Report, the drop-off events, where people book to take their unwanted goods to Dunmore, took in 214 tonnes. Of that 133 tonnes was recycled and only 77 tonnes went to landfill (36%). The cost of this at the Waste Depot’s 2019-20 charges is $31,122.
In contrast, the Report shows that Kerbside Collection, even after the traditional scavenging, collected 308 tonnes. Of this, the only the metal was recycled (100 tonnes) and the remaining 208 tonnes (67.5%) ended up in landfill, at a current cost of $81,500.
“The reason these percentages are so different is that everything we leave out, no matter how much life it still has in it, gets placed in the back of the truck and crushed up during collection,” says Camilla.
“But with the Bulky Waste event, much of the goods dropped off go in the Up 4 Grabs Tent.
“You’d be amazed at what you can pick up for free. It’s a great way for individuals to benefit while helping the community reduce its landfill bill.”
She says the Kiama LGA is already blitzing the national average for recycling household waste.
“Seventy-four per cent of our household rubbish is recycled compared to the national average of forty-eight per cent.
“We are doing so well but, as with all things, we could do even better.”
She recommends taking a trip to the Community Recycling Centre at Minnamurra.
“It is clean, well organised and easy to use, and you’ll be amazed what you can take there for recycling.
“Everything from x-rays to paint.”
Details: Find out more about the work of R3 Kiama at facebook.com/reducereuserecyclekiama/