SOUTHERN Grampians Shire councillors have knocked back a request from the Hamilton Regional Business Association (HRBA) to remove the fee for dropping off recycling at transfer stations, instead committing to investigate other ways to reduce the cost of recycling.
Six of the shire’s seven councillors voted at Wednesday’s council meeting to keep the recycling fee and maintain its existing cost-neutral approach to waste, despite calls from HRBA that the cost was a disincentive to recycle.
HRBA presented a petition to the council in December last year calling for fees to be dropped, after the cost of taking recyclable items, including cardboard and paper, to the shire’s transfer stations was increased to $110 per tonne last July.
It was previously a free service.
HRBA president, Darcy Walker told The Spectator the cost was disincentivising businesses and the community from recycling cardboard products properly.
“Any business in retail would tell you that everything is packaged in cardboard, so there is a lot of cardboard waste generated,” he said.
“We used to be able to drop that off at the transfer stations for free but in the last budget, it was slipped through the pricing register that the fee was increased to $110 per tonne.
“That cost is a big disincentive that will stop people from doing the right thing and taking their cardboard to the transfer station.
“We wanted to see that free drop-off brought back.”
Shire infrastructure director, Marg Scanlon told Wednesday’s meeting that “council’s current policy on waste charges is that waste management service should be cost neutral” and the generators of waste should be responsible for the cost of disposal.
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