Regional Waste Service Investigations
In August 2011, the WMRC commenced investigations into a regional waste service for the western suburbs (Town of Claremont, Town of Cottesloe, Town of Mosman Park, Shire of Peppermint Grove, City of Subiaco and City of Nedlands).
At its 4 August 2011 meeting, the WMRC Council endorsed a 'Business Case for Regional Waste Management', identifying a $600,000 per annum saving across the region and authorised the WMRC to proceed with further investigations.
The Councils in Perth’s western suburbs provide varying waste management services to residents and local businesses. Each Council had varying collection systems, collection frequency, materials accepted for recycling and contractors. This limits opportunities to deliver regional waste education and causes confusion among residents. Annual expenditure per dwelling greatly fluctuates, indicating the potential to achieve economies of scale.
An opportunity exists to achieve a consistent regional waste service, coordinated by the WMRC, which achieves cost efficiencies and optimal resource recovery.
The Business Case for Regional Waste Management discusses the potential for the WMRC to coordinate a regional waste management service (encompassing kerbside and bulk waste collection and disposal) on behalf of its members and the City of Nedlands.
The business case assesses the options available to collect kerbside and bulk waste and the appropriate trade-offs involving outcomes, quality and price to achieve a consistent premium waste service across the region. The report assesses the financial implications, impact on waste generation and the resource recovery potential of each option.
The WMRC’s vision for a regional service is considered achievable and intends to deliver significant economic, environmental and social outcomes for all participating Councils.
Participation in a regional waste service is expected to:
- Increase Councils’ market power and provide improved negotiating opportunities with contractors.
- Promote economies of scale which will lead to competitive pricing.
- Enable resource sharing.
- Allow Councils to collaboratively deliver strong waste education campaigns reducing media buying costs and improving recycling yields.
The financial analysis suggests a regional waste service, encompassing the recommendations outlined in the business case, has the potential to save the region $510,437-$653,984 in the first year. Conservative estimates have been made on collection cost savings, potential for improved recycling rates and participation in opt-in services.
The proposed regional waste service anticipates significant social benefits, including:
- Potential rates savings from flow-on effect of reduced service costs.
- Access to premium waste services with options for residents to choose their level of recycling.
- Consistent services among neighbours and the local community.
- Uniform and consistent waste education messages, reducing confusion among residents.
- Increased recycling of bulk waste is expected to exceed community satisfaction.
The proposed regional waste service aims to improve the use of kerbside recycling services by increasing the types of materials accepted and improving education. This will increase recycling yields. The on demand bulk waste service focuses on the recovery of reusable items; thereby reducing the total quantity of waste sent to landfill, which has numerous environmental benefits.