The Border Watch : January 12th 2016
NEWS TIPS email@example.com NEWS 3 Recycling contamination challenge Council traces unnecessary landfill waste back to commercial operators KEN BR brett@ KENNEDY RETT firstname.lastname@example.org waste remains an issue within Mount Gambier with “co-mingled” rubbish and recyclable materials being discarded into landfill. Mount Gambier City Council operational services director Daryl Sexton said there was “absolutely far too much” cardboard and plastics entering landfill from some commercial operators, which council is able to trace back to its point of origin. The senior council officer also praised residents for their efforts in reducing the amount of recyclable material entering landfill through kerbside collections. “Commercial waste is becoming a big issue for us, something needs to change,” Mr Sexton said. “It might be an educational issue, it could be an incentive issue, but something needs to happen.” Mr Sexton said purpose-built packaging remained a large contributor to landfill. “It might be convenient for commercialisation, but it has a number of downstream consequences,” he said. “We need to look at alternatives to things that are created into smaller flakes, they remain damaging to the environment for many years.” The EPA has carried out more than 800 inspections of retail stores since the introduction of the ban and issued 45 warnings. One expiation notice has been issued to a retailer for ignoring the new legislation. Mr Sexton said the ban made an almost instant impact on landfill processing. “Plastic bags don’t take up much space and they weigh next to nothing, but they are a litter issue and take a long time to break down,” he said. ON THE DECLINE: Mount Gambier City Council landfill operator Darren Spencer on-site at Caroline Landfill yesterday, where the number of plastic bags entering the specially-lined pits has significantly reduced since a supermarket and retailer ban was introduced in 2009. to be used once - polystyrene falls into that category ... we are still too much of a throwaway society.” State Environment Minister Ian Hunter last week said more than 400 million plastic bags had been removed from circulation annually since the ban on their supply from supermarkets and retailers was introduced in May 2009. “Only plastic bags thicker than 35 microns or compostible plastic bags that comply with Australian Picture: BRETT KENNEDY Standard AS4736-2006 are permitted to be used in South Australia,” Mr Hunter said. “The ban includes lightweight plastic bags with 100pc degradable printed on them, as although they may break down “That ban is old news, so the question now is ‘what is next?’ “We should never stand still and always be looking for smarter ways to dispose of our waste.” With residents becoming increasingly aware of the importance of recycling, Mr Sexton said he would like to see a transition to organic waste becoming the dominant kerbside collection compared to general rubbish. Mr Sexton said the Caroline Landfill site - which covers over 70 hectares - required continual work as new cells were constructed and old cells were capped. Council is currently in talks with a third party organisation to progress its vision for a salvage yard, which could also reduce the number of items going to landfill. Regional mayors confront resource management board over planned levy hike MUSTILLO RAQUEL email@example.com GRANT District Mayor Richard Sage has slammed the South East Natural Resource Management Board (SENRM) over its controversial three-year draft business plan. Mr Sage was joined by mayors from around the region at a special Limestone Coast Local Government Association (LCLCA) meeting held yesterday in Robe on the proposed rises in South Australian property levies. Mr Sage was vocal in his opposition to the NRM plan on the basis of the lack of effort to minimise expenditure. “We need to go back to basics and look at what we’re doing, where the money is actually coming from and if we can’t afford it, you guys need to cut your costs,” he said. “You’re relying now on levies and taxing the people within the community to deliver your programs. “You expect the landowners to do their work, but you guys aren’t going to keep up to the mark.” South East Natural Resource Management Board presiding member Frank Brennan said a review of the business plan was necessary following the State Government announcement it would partly recover $14m in water planning and management costs through the levy. “It meant $3.5m in 2015/16 and $6.7m dollars in 2016/17 and indexed beyond from there,” he said. “Looking at it as a quantum for the South East region, that is $1.17m dollars in 2015/16 and $2.239 in 2016/17. “The other impact was that DEWNR actu- ally introduced a corporate fee structure which actually distributed the corporate costs of the department across all their divisions within the department and also within the boards that support them. “It was nearly $22,000 per full-time equivalent in corporate fees. “When you look at what that meant for our door, it was over $1m in corporate fees that are actually recovered. “For 2015/16 the board actually used Last chance for draft business plan feedback HAVE YOUR SAY COMMUNITY feedback on the South East Natural Resources Management Board’s 2016/172018/19 draft business plan will close on Friday. Consultation has been open since November 2 last year with a range of consultation activities engaging over 200 people in ongoing discussion. Natural Resources South East planning and evaluation manager Tim Bond said during the extensive 11-week consultation period there had been eight listening posts across the region, 12 briefings to local councils and stakeholder groups and public meetings in Mount Gambier and Keith. “In early February, the SENRM Board will be considering how it can amend the draft plan and proposed levies based on the feedback received,” he said. Everyone is invited to provide feedback on the draft South East Natural Resources Management Board business plan: n At www.naturalresources. sa.gov.au/southeast “The board is required to review all submissions and develop a response for consideration by the minister before he approves the plan.” Visit www.naturalresources. sa.gov.au/southeast for more information. •An article published in the December 30 edition of The n Online via YourSAy at www.yoursay.sa.gov.au n Email dewnr. firstname.lastname@example.org n Via post to PO Box 1046, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 Border Watch wrongfully attributed the quote “we need a lot more input into what they are spending the levies on, they need to be very worthy projects” to South East Natural Resources Management Board presiding member Frank Brennan. The statement was made by Mingbool farmer Terry Buckley. The Border Watch apologises for the error. 682891 The Border Watch, Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 3 retained earnings to partly cover the increase cost, but also then cut some programs and projects in response to that. “For 2016/17, once we’ve spent the cash in the bank, you can’t spend it again and the only way to do that is to review the business plan.” The region’s local government association will seek an independent inquiry into the cost of water planning and management in a bid to debate the proposed rises and call upon the SENRM board to identify and introduce further savings for the 2016/17 financial year. Councils will also seek the support of the South Australian Local Government Association (LGA) to oppose the proposed hike.
January 8th 2016
January 13th 2016