City Remains Committed to Recycling Waste

Published on 11 May 2018

The City of Busselton remains committed to its waste recycling program despite contractual issues with its waste disposal contractor Cleanaway.

The City is one of many Western Australian Councils who have received notification from Cleanaway that they cannot sustain the cost of processing waste materials under the current fee structure contained in the contract. This is due to a substantial increase in the processing costs associated with on-selling recyclable materials to the overseas market. Essentially China, a major buyer of West Australian waste materials, will now under its so called “National Sword Campaign” only accept waste with a 5% contamination rating having in the past accepted materials with a 20% contamination rating.  Cleanaway claims that these measures not only impact on processing costs, but have resulted in a significant drop in the resale value of recycled waste.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said that Council considers this a contractual issue. “We have a contract with the providers to process our community’s recyclable waste. We do not accept their call for higher fees on the back of falling markets and we certainly do not wish to see these costs being passed onto ratepayers.  Additionally, and most importantly, the City does not want recyclable waste going to landfill. We are therefore, negotiating with Cleanaway to continue to honour the conditions of the contract for a set period of time while we explore other options. This may involve putting the City’s waste collection and processing out for re-tendering.”
Residents and businesses are advised that existing arrangements for the collection of non-recyclable and recyclable waste remain unaffected by these ongoing negotiations.

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 3: Environment – valued, conserved and enjoyed.

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