Why is the ACT Labor government willing to risk Canberra’s greatest environmental success story? Why don’t they spend that $10 million per year on Canberra facilities that actually need improvement?

The Green bin pilot program webpage states that 5000 tonnes of green waste end up at landfill each year and this is the issue the ACT Labor government wants to tackle with green bins.

Unfortunately, the page does not mention that there are 205 000 tonnes of green waste generated in Canberra each and every year. Of that 205 000 tonnes, 200 000 tonnes are recycled and turned into mulches and composts and then re-used on Canberra gardens. That is a 97.5% rate of recycling which is stated in ACT government reports to be ‘international best practice’.

Best estimates say it will cost ACT rate payers approximately $10 million per year to have a green bin service in Canberra in the future, why would the ACT Labor government want to waste $10 million per year of rate payers’ money on a system that is already running at international best standard levels.

The ACT Labor government wants to spend $10 million dollars per year copying a green bin system running in NSW council areas that is failing because of rubbish and contaminants being placed into the green bin with the garden waste, by a minority of residents. This type of green waste collection will destroy Canberra’s world class recycling rates and most likely result in massive amounts of unusable processed green waste being used as cover at landfill instead of being recycled as it is now.

The current ACT Labor government runs the risk of creating an absolutely mindboggling mountain of contaminated garden waste that the local processing contractors simply cannot recycle because of the rubbish contained within it. A mountain of contaminated garden waste that nobody wants, most likely destined to be used as cover at landfill, destroying local businesses along the way and simply wiping out what is now 30 years of ingrained environmental action from the Canberra community.

A 97.5% recycling rate is unheard of around the world. A community of 400 000 people in Canberra are achieving that by making an effort, local businesses are making an effort and up until now, the local government has been making an effort. With everyone working together, Canberra has created a green waste recycling model that should be copied all around the world. Instead the ACT Labor party wants to introduce a system that is failing elsewhere and will damage the current model beyond repair. Why are they doing that?

If the current green waste recycling model in Canberra is running at ‘international best practice’ levels, why would the ACT Labor government want to unnecessarily spend $10 million per year on that model. Surely there are areas in the Canberra community that are in urgent need of $10 million per year, schools, hospitals, housing and infrastructure just to name a few.