Bin changes for rural residents

Bin changes for rural residents

We are really excited about starting a new journey with our residents with the introduction of the new waste contract in July 2019. The new contract will build on the fantastic waste management service we have already had in place across the LGA for 10 years. 

For the majority of residents, there will be no change to the collection schedule. And everyone will see an improvement in service, due to a range of new technology and processes included in the new contract.
The only residents that will have a change to their normal weekly collection, are those living on rural properties.

What is changing for rural residents?

All rural properties are being brought on to the 3-bin system when the new contract starts, on 1 July 2019.

On the 3-bin system you will have an additional weekly green-lid bin for all your food and garden organics. This means you’ll have to make some changes to the way you sort your waste, using the kitchen caddy and green compostable bags we provide you. All food and garden waste will go in the green-lid bin, and significantly reducing the amount of waste going into your red-lid bin, and into landfill.

It will also mean a change to when and how you put your bins out for collection.

What is the 3-bin system?

The 3-bin system is part of Council’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2017-2026, which aims to reduce waste generation, increase recycling rates and divert waste from landfill, while also keeping costs low for residents. 

The 3-bin system separates waste into three streams:

  • Organics (green-lid bin, weekly collection)
    This bin takes food waste, garden vegetation and other organic waste
  • Recycling (yellow-lid bin, fortnightly collection)
  • Residual waste (red-lid bin, fortnightly collection)

The organics (green-lid) bin will now be your weekly bin. All the waste that spoils and smells should go in this bin.

In addition to food scraps and garden clippings, the organics bin can take a wide range of compostable materials, many of which are not easily composted at home, or are unsafe to feed to pet and animals. This includes tissues and paper towel, pizza boxes and paper or cardboard with food on it, citrus, dairy, bones (cooked and uncooked), kitty litter, meat and seafood, noxious weeds, and spoiled food.

Why is Council introducing an organics bin to rural properties?

While some rural properties compost at home, the research and consultation we have undertaken shows there is still a need for the organics (green-lid) bin on rural properties. Before we made this decision, we:

  • Consulted the community: over 2000 residents were surveyed from across Penrith (including rural areas). The survey showed that residents overwhelmingly valued keeping costs low and having sustainable waste disposal.
  • Conducted audits: audits of the contents collected from red-lid bins in rural areas showed that 60% was organic material. Processing waste with such high organic content is not cost-effective or sustainable long-term. Predictions showed that continuing to provide the 2-bin service for rural residents would result in increased costs to residents.
  • Benchmarked rural services: 25 rural councils in NSW have the same 3-bin FOGO system we are implementing. The system is well used by rural and farming communities. Penrith is one of the only councils in the Sydney basin to implement FOGO and we are leading the way in sustainable waste management.
    infographic ruralcouncilmap
  • Compared costs: continuing to provide the 2-bin system would have meant that your yearly domestic waste charge would increase from $446 (what you pay now) to $701 (what you would have paid next year. Bringing you on to this system also provides equality of service across our rural and urban areas and gives all residents to access cheaper waste services.

Studies show that supplying a green-lid bin that takes food and garden organics reduces the amount of waste in the red-lid bin by over 45%. The data also shows that when you have a smaller bin, you generate less waste. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reducing the red-lid bins size or having it collected less frequently also reduces the cost of waste management by $302 (this is the difference between the 2-bin service and the new sustainable 3-bin service).
infographic greenbinreduceswaste

In the existing contract, the standard 2-bin system that most rural residents use, cost $446 in 2018/2019. If we had kept the 2-bin system that cost would have increased to $701 in the next financial year, due to the levy for using landfill and waste processing.

However, under the new contract and by moving you to the 3-bin service, we avoid that cost increase, and can actually offer you a cheaper service.
infographic 3binsarecheaper

What will it cost me?

If you choose the ‘sustainable service’, it will cost you $399 each year. That is $49 less than you are paying now. And $302 less than you would be paying next year if we had kept the 2-bin system.

Council is a service provider and waste services has a user pays structure. We developed the ‘sustainable service’ based on meeting the needs and priorities of the majority of the community. 64% of households already on the 3-bin services use the sustainable service, and 65% of rural households have also chosen the sustainable service option.

For those who need something different, we offer a wider variety of alternative and additional services. These additional services come at a cost, because providing the extra collection and processing costs Council more money, and it’s not equitable to ask all residents to pay more for the additional services.

Here’s an example of what you will pay for the most popular service options, under the new contract:
infographic mostpopularcosts

Full list of available services and costs

Main service options

Sustainable Service - $399*

  • 240L Organics bin weekly
  • 240L Recycling bin fortnightly
  • 140L Residual bin fortnightly

Large Residual Waste Service - $484*

  • 240L Organics bin weekly
  • 240L Recycling bin fortnightly
  • 240L Residual bin fortnightly

Weekly Residual Waste Service - $598*

  • 240L Organics bin weekly
  • 240L Recycling bin fortnightly
  • 140L Residual bin weekly

Weekly Large Residual Waste Service - $775*

  • 240L Organics bin weekly
  • 240L Recycling bin fortnightly
  • 240L Residual bin weekly

Additional service options

  • Additional 140L Organics bin weekly - $100*
  • Additional 240L Organics bin weekly - $100*
  • Additional 140L Recycling bin fortnightly - $50*
  • Additional 240L Recycling bin fortnightly - $50*
  • Additional 360L Recycling bin fortnightly - $50*
  • Upsize Recycling bin fortnightly to 360L - $20*
  • Additional 140L Residual bin fortnightly - $130*
  • Additional 240L Residual bin fortnightly - $200*
  • Additional 140L Residual bin weekly - $260*
  • Additional 240L Residual bin weekly - $400

Frequently Asked Questions

A full list of Frequently Asked Questions are available on the Rural residents FAQs webpage.