The Kangaroo Island Council is considering switching to fortnightly collection of domestic waste, green organics and recyclables for implementation in 2017.
The decision was supported by investigation and research undertaken by FRWA between 2012 and 2016.
This research included public consultation, several region-wide bin audits and a pilot program between October 2013 and February 2014 in Hayborough.
Bin audits were conducted on Kangaroo Island in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
If members of the community would like to provide feedback they can write to either Council or to the FRWA.
Answers to many of your questions and/or concerns may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
When will this change go into effect?
* Pending KI Council adoption of the fortnightly kerbside collection schedule
How can Council justify reducing this service? What do we get for our rates and service charges?
By diverting green organics and food scraps from the general waste stream to the green organics stream which is retained and processed into mulch on the Island, there will be a decrease in the amount of this organic waste being transported off Island to landfill.
Further, if the volume of recycling (paper based, hard plastics, metal and glass) can be increased (through diversion from the general waste stream) and if contamination of this waste stream is decreased this recyclable material will yield a cost benefit to waste services on Kangaroo Island. Please see FAQ # 6.
The aim is to also maintain/reduce overall costs of the waste management operation by standardising the machinery used and countering the significant additional costs of rubbish collection over such a large island.
General Council Rates cover some but not all Council services and are not a fee for service.
Waste service charges on Kangaroo Island are:
Rural households that have to take their waste or recycling bins to a bin bank or farm gate for collection pay a discounted service charge based on the distance to the collection point. If a property owner has to travel 5km or farther to bring their bin out they do not pay the Waste Management Collection portion of the waste service charges.
* Pending KI Council adoption of the fortnightly kerbside collection schedule
The collection schedule and cycle will change; how will I know when and which bins to put out?
One week residents will have their waste and green organics bin (applicable to townships) collected on the same day; the following week yellow recycling bins will be collected.
Is Council doing this to save money?
Council is aiming to avoid the ever increasing cost of sending waste, some of which is recyclable and recoverable on Island, - unnecessarily- to landfill. A pro-active response to assist mitigate future cost increases associated with waste management and disposal facing all of South Australia.
I’m on a rural property and we don’t get an organics bin or collection so we’re really getting the short end of the stick!
Rural properties which will not receive a green organics collection still have the option of taking their garden waste to the KI Waste & Recycling Depot and at no additional charge.
Compost bins, worm farms and kitchen caddies* for the collection and composting of food scraps will be 50% subsidised by the KI Council for all Island residents.
*Pending Ki Council adoption of the fortnightly kerbside collection schedule.
I am getting less rubbish picked up; how will I manage?
Over a four week period the current total capacity of bins allows for:
Over a four week period the new collections for residents within townships will allow for:
Over a four week period the new collections for redidents in ruralareas will allow for:
Bin audits conducted in 2012 and 2014 revealed both bins were on average 60% full and in any given week only 56% of waste bins were put out for collection. This shows us that there is unused bin capacity in many cases. The same audits also showed that there was a lot of recyclable and compostable material in the general waste bin which, if sorted correctly, would provide more bin space for landfill waste. Recycling bin audits show high levels of contamination which, if sorted correctly, would also have more capacity.
It is important to note that the new service* does not reduce service levels but delivers an additional 120L capacity over a 4 week cycle when compared to the existing service. The waste audit conducted in 2014 also clearly shows that there is ample space in the waste bin to easily accommodate waste that should go in this bin.
* In townships. In rural areas there is a reduction in bin volume.
Why change the current system- it works for me!
The 2014 FRWA bin audit delivered similar results to the 2012 audit, highlighting that valuable resources are still being sent to landfill across the region.
The average general waste bin contains (by weight) 16% recyclables, 9% green organics, 38% food & compostable paper, 6% other (electronic resources, clothing etc.) and only 31% waste!
Kangaroo Island Specific Bin Audits
Bin audits of recycling bin contents in 2014 showed:
If the contamination rate in recyclable is under 10%, this recyclable material becomes a commodity and we will get paid for it. Contamination rates over 10% attract a penalty and once contamination level is over 25% all will be sent to landfill.
Bin audits of recycling bin contents in 2016 showed considerable improvement with:
But the 13% contamination rate was still too high for recycling facility to pay for resources recovered.
We have a large family and our waste bin is always full each week!
What will we do with out disposable nappies?
There are nappy disposal systems which compress and store dirty nappies in a tube that store, odor free, approximately one week’s worth of nappies. One such product is the Tommee Tippee Sanagenic nappy bin disposal system.
We have special medical needs in our household that fill our waste bin every week. How will we cope?
This provision is for permanent, private households, where a resident's medical condition produces medical waste (incontinence products, bandaging or similar.
Peak Summer School Holiday Collections:
Outside the summer school holiday period all bins, including additional bins, will be collected fortnightly.
Holiday Homes and Holiday Rental Accommodation
Note: FRWA’s kerbside service is designed to meet the needs of residential ratepayers. Holiday rental properties are entitled to use the service as long as their waste production is similar in composition and volume to that of a residential property.
Large volumes of waste, recyclables or organics and/or waste not typically generated in a domestic environment can be taken to the KI Resource Recovery Centre (additional fees might apply).
Outside the peak summer school holiday period - as identified in the waste collection calendar - all bins, including additional bins will be collected fortnightly.
My waste bin will smell if only picked up fortnightly:
'Any putrescible waste that is plasted in a receptacle must be contained in wrapping or sealed in a disposable container so as to prevent or minimize the discharge of fluids and the emission of offensive odours.'
Smells would mainly come from food scraps, nappies and/or animal waste in your bin.
If bins are kept reasonably clean, food scraps wrapped or bagged and bin lids closed, odors and/or flies should not be a problem.
* Pending KI Council adoption of the fortnightly kerbside collection schedule.
Pests, vermin: If my waste bin sits out for 2 weeks it’s going to attract rats, mice, birds, flies and/or other insects. How will I manage that?
If necessary, place a heavy object such as a rock or brick to keep it closed in windy conditions but remember to remove it before collection.
Alternatively there are commercial products available known as 'bin springs' in metal or plastic which will hold your bin shut in windy conditions.
If your bin lid is broken, cracked or missing you may obtain another one from the KI Recovery and Recycling Depot at Kingscote.
We don’t have both types of bins, only a waste bin, what will we do?
Each rateable property is entitled to one each of waste and recycling bins at no charge. Green organics bins will be available to all households (within townships).
Additional bins need to be purchased. 140L waste bins or recycling bins are $61 each.
With the implementation of fortnightly collections in September 2017*, each ratable property with be given a 240L recycling bin and a 240L green organics bin**.
* Pending KI Council adoption of the fortnightly kerbside collection schedule.
**Green organics bins/collections will be provided for properties within the townships.
We are a Child Care Centre / School:
With the implementation of the fortnightly collection schools may be issued with 240L general waste bins to facilitate adapting to the new collection schedule. 240L recycling bins will replace the 140L bins currently in use for all users of the kerbside system.
Schools (Kindergarten to High School) are supported in their use of the kerbside recycling system by applying a formula of 1 recycling bin and 1 green organics bin (as applicable) per 50 students.
FRWA’s Education Officer is available to visit each school on KI, assess the waste/recycling systems currently in place and aim to resolve issues. Schools – depending on the number of students - may require tailor made solutions to achieve sustainable waste management on campus.
I own a Restaurant (or Café), how can we cope with less waste pick-ups?
Extra bins are available for purchase (up to 3 per waste stream) and a $5.50 per lift collection fee applies.
It is important that businesses recognize that FRWA’s kerbside service is designed to meet the needs of residential ratepayers and small businesses that produce waste similar in content and volume to a household. If FRWA’s collection service does not meet the needs of your business you may need to engage a commercial waste service provider of which there are two operating on KI.
Depending on your volume of waste and if you cannot fit your general waste, recycling and organics into the prescribed bins with the new fortnightly collection schedule your business may need a second or third waste, recycling or green bin. Extra waste bins are available for purchase and a $5.50 per lift collection fee.
Are we allowed to have additional bins for waste if we want them?
FRWA’s Education Officer will be available to visit your home or business to assist with recycling and sorting waste education.
If I have extra waste that I can’t fit into my bin can I take it to the Depot?
Will Council allow us the option of paying extra and having a 240 litre waste bin?
In special circumstances (Schools or situations with limited space) and at FRWA’s discretion there may be cases where a 240L waste bin is allowable.
We have our bins in a bin bank and they are often filled by others who dump their waste in and around our bins. Can you put public litter bins at our bin bank and label them as such so that tourists don't use our bins?
With this new program we are simply going to have to use public litter bins for our extra waste.
Bulky Waste Station (BWS) Closure:
However during the transition period, from 1 July 2017 to 31 August 2017 items that were allowed to be dumped at the bulky waste stations (and would normally incur a fee to dispose of) may be dumped for free at the Kingscote Resource Recovery Centre (KIRRC).
The decision to close the bulky waste stations is a result of under-utilisation of the stations, the inherent inefficiency of handling and loading the materials, transporting them to the KIRRC, unloading and re-sorting the materials as well as the high cost of staffing the stations when they are open. Work health and safety are also an issue due to the work being done by a solo worker manual handling in remote locations.
There is an EPA requirement to remove all waste from the BWS’s on the same day that it is received. This can be an issue when the volume of waste delivered to the BWS exceeds what can be removed on that same day.
Unfortunately, illegal dumping is occurring at BWSs outside scheduled opening hours. The Council and therefore ratepayers incur additional costs to clean up illegal dumping.
How and where can we recycling soft plastics on the island? If we could get this material out of our waste bins and into a recycling stream we would have a lot more bin space!
On the mainland this is often offered at supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths.
FRWA will check the possibility of supermarkets and grocery stores on KI providing this service for residents and visitors.
We need education to get this right! Where and how are you going to inform us to recycle right and to know how to deal with the waste materials we have?
What will you do about illegal dumping - which will go through the roof if this idea goes through?
Responsible residents who are accustomed to putting their waste in a bin are highly unlikely to start dumping it in their island environment.
Most illegal dumping is of items that don’t fit in a waste bin or aren’t disposed of through kerbside collection, such as TV’s, computers, mattresses, tyres, etc.
Council and therefore all ratepayers incur the cost of removal of illegal dumped items.
No additional costs associated with Council clean-up of illegally dumped goods has been incurred (to date) in Alexandrina Council which introduced fortnightly collection of all three waste streams on 1 July 2016. - This indicates that there has been no increase in illegal dumping since the introduction of fortnightly collections in the past 7 months.
What about the health obligation of getting rid of our waste weekly? If it sits around for two weeks, we will have a sanitation crisis increasing vermin, flies and disease!
Keep your bin lid shut. Wrap or contain food scraps. Rinse soiled packaging before placing in from the appropriate bin. Wrap any other sanitation items in newspaper or plastic bags to reduce smells and contain odours.
Rather than increasing, most odours actually decrease after a week due to drying out.
Our bins wil be too heavy to lift and bring out to the collection point if we don't have them emptied weekly and if we get a 240L recycling bin! How will we manage that?
The recycling bin audits conducted in 2012, 2014 and 2016 show that the average yield of weekly recycling collections on Kangaroo Island was 1kg per household. Mainland recycle bins normally yield an average of 3 kgs per household.
Based on this information it is expected that the average weight of the 240L recycling bin will be between – 13.2kgs and 15.2kgs at collection.
Bins can be towed (at low speed) to collection point on a tow-ball.
Do we have to take the larger bin if we don't want it? It might be too heavy for elderly.
The larger bin will provide residents with more bin capacity to allow for less compaction of recycling and facilitate fortnightly collections.
Where and how will the green organics be processed? How can we put meat, fat and all types of food scraps in the green bin and know that it is safe and properly processed?
The food scrap component of the green organics at this site would be diluted effectively by the volume of garden waste. The system KI Council and FRWA are already using is a pasteurization process which involves: spreading the organic material; picking out of contaminants; grinding material to a mulch size; watering material to allow cooking process; turning as required to aerate and mix; taking daily/weekly temperatures to ensure the necessary heat is achieved to process and decompose the material to a safe standard.
Vermin controls are in place and would be expanded to address any increasing activity as well as the change in composition of the greenwaste pile.
The same system of mulching has been used successfully in Alexandrina Council for the past 7 months with no increase in vermin activity, nor any issues with un-processed meat/fat/food scraps. On KI, cat management will be the emphasis of the expanded vermin control program.
If we don't get a green waste bin and collection, will we get a reducting in rates or service charges?
Why can't the truck collection red and green bins from both townships and rural properties?
It is likely that a new collection system based on two single body trucks will be introduced to Kangaroo Island to collect all three waste streams (pending decision by Kangaroo Island Council to adopt new system)..
Rural properties generally have other options (which may not be available on domestic, residential blocks in townships) for the disposal of green organic waste. The long, sparsely populated rural roads are unlikely to yield large enough volumes of green organics waste to make the collection of green organics waste cost effective.
The green organics waste collection is planned for areas with higher, permanent population density.
We need the Bulky Waste Stations (BWS). We will not drive all the way to the KIRRC to dispose of those things that we bring to the BWS's - again people will dump this stuff wherever and the Island will be a mess!
KI Council acknowledges the distance to the KIRRC can be long depending on where you live on the island.
Fortnightly collection of green waste will alleviate the need for residents to use the bulky waste to dispose of general garden prunings and lawn clippings (logs of up to 15 cm in diameter and 60cm length are acceptable in the green organics bin on the proviso that the total weight of the bin does not exceed 75 kgs).
Items that have generally been brought to the BWS’s are often items that one needs to dispose of infrequently such as washing machines, refrigerators, BBQs etc. These items can be taken to the KIRRC and most of them are free of charge for residents.
Will we get a reduction in rates if you close the Bulky Waste Stations? I use it every month and need this option.
We need the compound to drop off logs downed in storms. Why can't Council just burn there in Winter and not make us carry large, heavy things far away.
Baudin Beach, Muston and Island Beach need green bins too. Why can't we get this service?
There are also constraints on the collection vehicle’s capacity to handle increased volumes of green waste. Please also see FAQ #5.
What percentage of waste is caused by tourists? Can't we charge them a levy for waste disposal?
Waste statistics for Kangaroo Island 2015-2016 and 2016 -2017 (to date) show that January (peak summer school holiday period) is the month during which general waste collections (by weight) peak, unfortunately collections of recycling have remained about the same with only a small increase in recycling collection weight for January.
It is generally considered that this peak in general waste collection is largely caused by higher numbers of people staying on the Island for more extended periods of time, in addition to increased day visitation. But it would be expected that recycling collections would also peak considerably during this same period due to the increased packaging and wrapping associated with the festive season.
The issue of a tourism levy related specifically to waste production could be considered by Kangaroo Island Council.
When and if this happens will the collection routes be the same?
What is being done to manage the waste produced by cruise ship visitors? Here for the day and they make a huge footprint and then leave and we have to deal with their waste!
How often will the Public litter bins be collected? Will they be larger? Will they be collected on the same schedule as domestic bins?
Some sporting and community groups may seek to have recycling bins to collect CDL cans and bottles also.
Public litter bins are collected on a separate schedule from household bins. They will be emptied on varying schedules (depending on season) during the year and collections will respond to seasonal fluctuations. They may be emptied daily, bi-weekly, weekly or fortnightly depending on volumes of waste being generated at a specific location.
How will you educate visitors? Can the Sealink ferry have an information video? Can each visitor be given a guide to managing waste on the Island? Something should be done because they produce a lot of waste and don't know what to do with it.
Has FRWA or KI Council put any thought into collecting waste weekly over the Easter and school holiday period in April? This is the busiest time for visitors to the Island!
Waste collection data for 2013-2014, 2014 -2015 and 2015 – 2016 financial years show that January remains the peak collection month for general waste. General waste collections during the shoulder seasons of Autumn and Spring are only slightly higher than off peak Winter months over the same periods.
Extra bin lifts are available for $5.50 per bin per lift for holiday homes/rentals businesses which may accommodate larger numbers of people during peak holiday periods.
Bags of household waste, recyclables and organics can be brought to the KIRRC at no charge.
How will my business cope if there is a limit of 3 of each waste stream? We ahve 15 bins! What should we do? Others use our bins like tourists, campers, etc. Will you work with us to resolve these issues?
With eight businesses now operating on Cape Willoughby Road, we need kerbside collection. Can FRWA and Council consider this? We are carting our bins 8kms each way and it's not fair.
Last updated: 1 March 2017