Gone are the days when a visit to the local rubbish tip was a family outing. Dealing with rubbish has become big business, and a major cost to Councils.
Belrose tip has been swallowing our rubbish since 1965. But last month it accepted its final load. That leaves Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre at Ingleside as our only local tip. And at present it can't accept putrescible waste (food, manure or nappies).
The problem has forced the Shore Regional Organisation of Councils - Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah - to send rubbish half way across Sydney to Eastern Creek Landfill.
It's a necessary solution but it comes at a price, with the four combined Councils now set to pay $14 million annually for the next three years for the service.
But by then both Kimbriki and local residents will have a much bigger part to play.
Residents will then be required to separate food waste from other household rubbish and dispose of it in the garden waste (green-lid) garbage bins.
Kimbriki senior project officer Mark Winser says that step alone would cut in half the amount we throw into our general waste (red-lid) bins. It would mean 55,000 tonnes less "rubbish" going to landfill each year.
"We already separate our recyclables. We already separate garden waste. We're asking people to take that next step," Mr Winser said.
It's all part of Too Good to Waste - the regional waste strategy just released for Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah. The strategy, which treats waste as a resource rather than a liability, aims to increase household recycling rates to 70% by 2021.
Kimbriki will get a major revamp as well. It's been kicked off with a $1.2 million State Government grant for better recycling and resource recovery capabilities at the centre. By 2017 Kimbriki should be able to sort and recover resources from commercial and household waste, as well as being able to process food and garden waste together to make high-grade compost for sale.
That’s a good step in the right direction.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.