FEE FURORE: Noel Nemeth is upset that he must pay a council recycling fee when he and his wife have managed to do their own for 30 years.
FEE FURORE: Noel Nemeth is upset that he must pay a council recycling fee when he and his wife have managed to do their own for 30 years. Derek Barry

Forest Hill resident says Lockyer recycling charges unfair

AFTER three decades of doing his own recycling, Forest Hill resident Noel Nemeth doesn't see why he should now have to pay Lockyer Valley Regional Council to provide the service.

"My wife and I have lived here 30 years, we've never had, or never wanted, a recycling service," Mr Nemeth said.

"We have a worm farm and compost heap and everything else is recycled - at most we go to the dump three or four times a year."

Mr Nemeth is angry over the $230 compulsory annual charge LVRC introduced in 2012 and said council did not consult widely on the change.

"The first we heard of it was when we got the bill," he said.

Mr Nemeth said they were extremely environmentally conscious.

"We drive an electric car and converted it ourselves," he said. "We just want to be left alone to do our thing."

A council representative said the changes in waste and recycling collection services were largely influenced by federal and state laws and policies to promote waste avoidance.

"Council commenced consultation with the community as far back as 2009 and performed further extensive consultation in early 2012 when it released, into the community, a draft Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan, which aligned to the legislation," the representative said.

 

Full Lockyer Valley Regional Council response:

"Changes in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council waste and recycling collection services have largely been influenced by the Federal and State Government's laws and policies that strongly promote waste avoidance, a reduction in the amount of waste going into landfills and increased recycling of waste materials. Waste management charges are set by Council and supported by State Government legislation.

For Council to meet its obligations, it commenced consultation with the community as far back as 2009. Council performed further extensive consultation in early 2012 when it released, into the community, a draft Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan which aligned to the legislation and included:

  • Promotion of  waste avoidance and reduction, and resource recovery and efficiency actions;
  • Reduction in the consumption of natural resources and minimisation of waste disposal by encouraging waste avoidance and the recovery, re-use and recycling of waste;
  • Minimisation in the overall impact of waste generation and disposal.

The plan also considered key areas of waste education and identified ways to improve waste and recycling services throughout the Lockyer Valley, including the introduction of the two-bin system to residents across the Lockyer Valley region.

Based on the overall consultation process and using the feedback obtained from the community, changes were made and the plan was adopted by Council in July 2012.

After community consultation, Council made a decision to provide a whole of region approach.  Both rural and urban residents had made it clear that they wanted the service to cover the entire region (where practically possible). Council will continue to investigate options to enable every household to be serviced.

Following, a detailed tender was released to the market to enable Council to engage a suitable contractor to ensure the most effective and efficient waste and recycling service for the community.

During this period various forms of media were used to inform the community of the commencement of the new waste and recycling services.

The new waste and recycling service brings a uniform service across the Lockyer community and aligns our region with the majority of other waste and recycling collection services across Queensland.

Following the introduction of the two-bin system the Material Recovery Facility, operated by Anuha Services, is recycling considerably more waste than it did prior to 1 July 2013.  This is helping to extend the life of our landfill and reduce the impact on natural resources.

Council appreciates the Community's response to embrace this change."


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