May 25th 2010
Council sticks with recycling despite rising costs
Townsville City Council today approved a Commercial Business report recommending the awarding of a new five year contract to Visy Recycling to process the city’s recyclable material.
Rising freight costs and the lowest commodity prices for recyclables in 10 years will result in the contract, which is based on tonnages, to increase by around $544,000 a year.
The city’s overall budget for recycling this financial year is around $2.7 million which includes council’s own operational expenditure for yellow top bin collections and contractor costs for sorting and processing.
Mayor Cr Les Tyrell said the council would not be going down the same track as other regional councils in winding back recycling.
“Regional councils are faced with a big jump in costs but recycling is far too important to the community here in Townsville for it to discontinue,” Cr Tyrell said.
“Costs are going up and the viability of recycling for regional communities is a big issue, but people want the service in Townsville and we believe the benefits of recycling still outweigh the increase in cost.
“The problem is not the kerbside collection which we do with our own waste trucks, but the cost of engaging recycling contractors to sort and process the collected material.
“Transportation costs to Brisbane and lower returns for recyclables are driving contract prices up.
“Late last year the council received support from councils throughout the region in a call for State Government subsidies for recycling services.
“Nothing has been forthcoming, and all councils can do is negotiate new contracts the best way they can with the inevitable price increases.”
The council’s new contract with Visy will come into effect on January 1 next year after the current contract expires.
Under the terms of the contract, Visy will sort and process material collected by the kerbside recycling service at the Material Recovery Facility in Garbutt and transport recyclables such as paper, steel, aluminium, plastics, and glass to Brisbane.
The contract is for five years with provision for an extension of up to three years and is based on tonnages. Each month 1,100 tonnes of material from kerbside recycling bins is processed by Visy in Townsville.
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