Mulch bins hit the road

THE roll-out of a third bin will begin in Lake Macquarie from Monday, providing a new way for residents to dispose of green waste.

Lake Macquarie City Council will deliver 72,000 new bins over two months.

Cardiff residents will be the first to receive the new 240-litre green-waste bins.

Trucks will work clockwise around the lake from Cardiff, delivering about 2000 bins a day.

Bins would be provided to most households by March 15, council city strategy director Tony Farrell said. 

“There will be mobile billboards travelling in suburbs on the weekend before the bins are delivered to alert residents their bins are coming,” Mr Farrell said.

“I recommend calling our customer service centre only if your property hasn’t received a bin and all others in the street have, or if you don’t receive a bin by March 15.”

Mr Farrell said the bins would be ‘‘emptied from the first week of April’’.

‘‘Wait until late March to start using the bin to avoid the contents getting smelly,’’ Mr Farrell said.

Information will be attached to the lid of each bin, advising how the service works.

Mayor Jodie Harrison said the new service would be ‘‘easy to use’’.

‘‘It’s a great way that Lake Macquarie residents can help the environment,” Cr Harrison said.

“Instead of going to landfill, the green waste collected will be processed into mulch and compost for use on parks, gardens and agriculture.

‘‘It’s the most cost-effective way to deal with our city’s waste.’’

Councillors voted last July to award a $100million contract to Solo Waste for the third-bin service.

The matter attracted controversy, with some residents not wanting a third bin. Others claimed the plan was too costly.

A council report from 2011 said the three-bin system would cost ratepayers about $1.8billion over 30 years and save about $150million over that time.

In 2011, ratepayers paid about $320 for garbage pick-ups, but that was forecast to rise to $575 in 10 years and $1491 in 30 years.

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