Green light for free green waste dumping ahead of storm season

Published 1:00pm 29 June 2022

Green light for free green waste dumping ahead of storm season
Words by Jodie Powell

Moreton Bay Region residents will be able to dump green waste free at Council transfer stations on four days in September to help them prepare for bushfire and storm season.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, made by Cr Matt Constance (Div 10) in response to tipping fees being introduced from July 1.

Cr Constance told today’s Council meeting it would reinforce the importance of preparing for storm season.

On March 30, councillors voted in favour of a new policy introducing new dumping limits and fees at Moreton Bay Region waste facilities after a Council review found some people were abusing the free system.

From July 1, residents, community groups, sporting organisations and charity organisations who take more than three tonnes of waste in a year - or make more than 26 visits to a tip – will have to pay for the privilege.

Prolific dumpers curbed

An analysis of waste facility visits in the 2020-21 financial year found 2.6 percent of the total number of users disposed of more than three tonnes of products and 1.7 percent of users visited more than 26 times, meaning few people would be impacted by the new fees.

A Council spokesman said waste facilities were cost-neutral.

"Commercial gate fees charged for green waste reflect the operational costs for Council to manage green waste," he said. 

In 2021/22 around 2200 tonnes of mulch made from green waste were removed from Council’s waste management facilities and used by the community, while more than 40,000 tonnes of shredded green waste was transported to another location for further processing into soil amendment products.

Cr Constance said today he was concerned the new fee policy could deter people from cleaning up before storm and bushfire season.

“Noting both changes to our waste management fees coming up as of the first of July and also the importance of preparing for storm and bushfire season I am putting forward that Moreton Bay Regional Council…provides exemption for residents from residential green waste charges and dumping limits on the first and last weekends in September annually to encourage residents to Get Ready for storm and bushfire season,” Cr Constance said.

|“I think it’s an important policy, it does give our community a reminder of the importance of preparing for storm and bushfire season.”|

Cr Cath Tonks (Div 9) expressed concern about limiting the free opportunity to weekends, but chief executive officer Greg Chemello said the days could be flexible and officers would look into the matter.

Cr Mark Booth (Div 2) queried whether the additional cost of processing a potential avalanche of green waste was included in this year’s Budget, with a Council officer confirming it was not and this year’s free dumping days could be used to gauge the amount needed for next year.

Councillors voted to provide an exemption for residents from residential green waste charges and limits for a minimum of four days on dates to be confirmed in September this year and next.

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