Reducing landfill and protecting the local environment is the goal of a new waste education campaign launched by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Each year, council must pay the State Government a waste levy fee to dispose of waste to landfill and is charged based on the total volume of waste disposed.
In 2016/17 almost 60,000 tonnes of waste was transported to landfill from the local area, and this cost council $4.6 million dollars in State Government waste levy. More than 10,500 tonnes of this is from household kerbside red bin collection.
To reduce this cost, council’s new waste education campaign will encourage local residents to do their bit by prompting people to think about which bin they should use to dispose of their waste at home.
The campaign will use an animated family called ‘The Hastings’ to deliver important waste messages, and will demonstrate the right way to dispose of litter and household waste while highlighting the benefits of recycling.
Group manager Maria Doherty said council is taking a new approach to waste education so people can be more aware of the effects their household waste behaviours have on the community.
“In the past our waste education campaigns have done a fantastic job in raising awareness around why it’s important to recycle, the council waste services that can be easily accessed and the impacts waste has on our environment.
“To build upon this great work, we want to engage the community in a fun new way, and remind people to choose the correct bin for their waste.
“By simply choosing green or yellow bins first, we can ensure red bins are used less, landfill is reduced, and rate payer funds that are saved when people recycle right, can be used for other important projects across the region,” Ms Doherty said.
The new campaign complements a number of waste management strategies being rolled out by council during 2018, with a recent focus on illegal dumping proving to be a great success.
“In partnership with Forestry NSW and National Parks & Wildlife Services (NPWS), council received an EPA illegal dumping grant. By using this funding we’ve been able to remove over 195 tonnes of illegally dumped material from our local forests,” Ms Doherty said.
“The new education campaign will also work to reduce illegal dumping, and we really encourage the local community to visit our waste transfer facilities, where lots of items commonly dumped such as whitegoods, can be dropped off for free,” added Ms Doherty.