Opt-in weekly red bin service proposed for Inner West food recycling

Friday 2 February 2024



Labor Councillors have today proposed to further strengthen Inner West food recycling by providing a free, opt-in weekly red bin collection for residents who need more support.

Food recycling in the Inner West is proving to be a huge success with large-scale uptake across the community leading to very high tonnages of organic waste being recycled and the carbon emissions of the Inner West community being massively reduced.

Since the start of the new service in October we have diverted 5900 tonnes of organic waste to compost, instead of rotting in landfill.

The methane and carbon emissions saved from this is the equivalent of having taken more than 7000 cars off the road for one year.

This represents the single biggest contribution the Inner West community has ever made to reducing emissions and combating climate change.

So far, assistance for residents has included offering a free, larger 240 litre red bin, which 3600 households have taken up, as well as a free, additional red bin collection which residents can book online when they need it.

The new proposal is to allow residents to register and opt-in for an ongoing, free weekly red bin collection across the next 2 years.

Mayor Darcy Byrne said that providing more practical assistance to residents would help make food recycling an ongoing success.

“Our Inner West community is massively reducing our carbon emissions through food recycling and the vast majority of households have adapted to the change.”

“However, we know that it’s not one size fits all and we want to provide even more support to households that are finding the fortnightly red bin collection a challenge.

“A free, opt-in weekly red bin collection will help parents with small children manage disposal of nappies as well as larger households with bigger volumes of waste.

Councillor Mat Howard, who has led the design and implementation of food recycling, said that this additional support will help lock-in this vital environmental reform. 

“We committed in October to assessing the support being provided to households after the initial roll-out and to taking a pragmatic approach to ensure the ongoing success of food recycling in the Inner West,” Howard said.

“While the vast majority of households have successfully made the transition to food recycling and the carbon emissions reduction has exceeded our expectations, the roll-out has demonstrated that some residents are still finding the change challenging.

“That’s why we are proposing this additional support to help all local people in making this transition.”

Council officers estimate that if 15 per cent of households take up this new, opt-in service, the cost would be approximately $1 million per annum.

There are currently 2 appropriate Council vehicles available to provide the additional service as well as some staffing capacity.

Inquiries by Council officers also indicate that, if needed, there is capacity from private providers to commence this service within a short timeframe.

The proposal will be voted on by Councillors at the 13 February Council meeting.

Notice of Motion – Strengthen food recycling in the Inner West

Moved: Mayor Byrne and Councillor Howard

That Council:

  1. Note that the new food recycling service has resulted in 5900 tonnes of organic material being converted to compost, instead of being dumped at landfill, which has resulted in a reduction of approximately 12,358 tonnes of carbon (Co2) emissions.
  2. Provide a new opt-in weekly red bin collection service for households that wish to access it. This service is to be provided on the following terms:
    • Households are able to register for the service once and then receive the collection on an ongoing basis.
    • No fee is to be charged for the service for a period of 2 years with the necessity of the service to be reviewed in 2026.
    • Commencement of the new service is to be as soon as possible.
  3. Authorise funding for the service to be drawn from Council’s waste reserve, with authority delegated to the General Manager to enter into any necessary contract with an external provider, to ensure expedited commencement of the service.
  4. Receive a report to the March Ordinary meeting on the commencement of the opt-in weekly red bin service and the outcome of any procurement process.

For media enquiries please contact Jonny Browne, Jonny.Browne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 14 Mar 2024