Mayor's Message

Mayor's Message - 16 June 2017

Communities and social media alike are abuzz with conversation about rubbish after the ABC recently aired its three part exposé, ‘War on Waste’. The series highlighted many ongoing issues with waste in Australia and was an eye-opening experience for many people.

One of the big issues was the humble takeaway coffee cup, with Australians estimated to use one billion disposable cups each year. Charading as a recyclable product with its cardboard cup and plastic lid, many of us don’t realise that the cup itself it not recyclable. This deceptive little cup is lined with a polymer that is not recyclable and cannot be separated from the cardboard during processing

Grabbing a takeaway coffee from a local cafe is a weekly, sometimes daily, occurrence for a lot of us but, many don’t realise the harm that cup is doing to the environment. It was fantastic to see many of our local cafes respond to this issue immediately, joining the Responsible Cafes movement and offering discounts on coffees for customers who bring their own reusable cup, whether it be a travel mug or your everyday mug out of your kitchen cupboard! Along with efforts in our community to ‘ban the plastic bag’ and introduce Boomerang Bags, I think it would be fantastic to also become a disposable coffee cup free community. I encourage everyone to take along their own cup to their local café for their daily coffee or tea fix. You can find a Responsible Café near you at www.responsiblecafe.org.

The conversation generated by ‘War on Waste’ was especially timely for the Bass Coast community as we prepare to roll out our new three bin system over the next few months. New bins, including the new organics bin, will be delivered to homes across the Shire throughout July and August, with collection beginning on 4 September this year.

Our studies show that up to 69 per cent of an average household’s garbage bin is organic waste, and if we don’t reduce waste going into Grantville Landfill, we will have only 15 years before this landfill is full. It is a travesty that currently, we are burying a huge amount of compostable waste in our landfill. What a waste (pardon the pun!). 

The new organics service will allow you to place your food and garden waste into the one bin for composting, rather than filling up our landfill.

Making this change will also help protect our beautiful and unique Bass Coast environment. When food and garden waste begin to rot in our landfill, they release harmful gases. By diverting organic material away from our landfill, we will decrease the amount of these greenhouse gases being released.

Just as we have learned to sort our recycling products over the years, we will also learn to sort our organic waste. We know that change bring challenges, but we ask you to please be patient whilst you get used to our new bin system. In the long run, the rewards for the future of our community will be all worth the effort, and far outweigh the inconvenience.

I look forward to these challenges, and I ask you to join me with your reusable coffee cup in hand!

Cr Pamela Rothfield, Mayor
Bass Coast Shire Council

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