New era for Unley's waste management

Published on 27 July 2022

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Following a unanimous decision by Council at its July meeting, Mayor Michael Hewitson is pleased with what he has called ‘the dawn of a new era for Unley’ in its waste management endeavours. The City of Unley is announcing it has joined a quorum of seven other councils to become a joint venture partner in its waste future, as a Constituent Council of the Eastern Waste Management Authority (East Waste) which will offer benefits to council, businesses, and residents.

‘With seven other eastern councils, we are now proud part-owners of a waste management regional subsidiary servicing many of the Eastern Region Alliance (ERA) Councils. Why? Waste can be gold in the circular economy, and shifts rubbish from dumping to re-use, which lowers our carbon emissions’ Mayor Hewitson said.

‘Waste management is one of the most vital and visible services any council provides. In a fruitful partnership with its community over recent years, Unley Council has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to recycling and to diverting waste from landfill. This takes it to a new level, and we will strive to make significant savings while reducing our carbon footprint.’

With continued innovation and development occurring in the waste and resource recovery sector in South Australia, now, more than ever, Unley Council is working smarter and more collaboratively with its community to ensure a sustainable environment for current and future generations.

In 2021, Council endorsed its Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan which proposed actions to achieve Council’s waste management goals, with emphasis on the circular economy. The plan also considers the possible introduction of additional services such as:

  • a weekly organics (green bin) collection
  • placement of organics bins (green bins) in parks and reserves
  • innovative waste management services for Multi Development Units (MUDs).

With Unley, the other equal part-owners of East Waste are the Cities of Prospect, Campbelltown, Burnside, Mitcham, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, and the  Adelaide Hills and Walkerville Councils.

East Waste provides Unley with a simple, flexible approach for organising and facilitating waste activities in a joint venture - or partnership-style - arrangement. The proposal for this model appealed to Unley Council because of the opportunity to realise a range of direct benefits.

Those include achieving economies of scale, strategic alignment and innovation, risk mitigation and public accountability in delivery of a critical community service of direct benefit to ratepayers, whilst remaining a service subject to the joint control and direction of the member Councils.

‘East Waste’s Constituent Councils share this vision of a circular economy’ the Mayor added.

‘Nationally, food waste alone accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage all residents to use the green organics bin with kitchen waste becoming compost, and recycling bins - well used and well recycled – will reduce our costs, carbon footprint and help us keep rates low.’

‘I’m delighted that Unley has joined East Waste as a Constituent Council and is now the proud part-owner of a reputable, well-regarded regional subsidiary. This is a great step forward as we adopt an ownership approach to achieve our objectives in waste management and resource recovery. I look forward to what this exciting new arrangement will bring to our community.’

Chair of East Waste Fraser Bell said the company is equally pleased to be welcoming Unley as its newest member.

‘We are pleased to have the City of Unley join us as a member Council to add further strength to our organisation. There is strong alignment between East Waste’s strategic vision and the City of Unley’s, and this will serve to further drive positive environmental, social, and circular economy outcomes for all Councils. The team is geared up and ready to provide a high-quality service to Unley residents.’

Effective from 1 August 2022, all of Unley Council’s waste management services will be provided by East Waste. There will be no operational changes for residents or businesses operators - all services will continue to be delivered as they are currently.

East Waste says collection days and weeks remain unchanged for waste, recycling, or organics, although pick-up times may vary. The 2022 East Waste Collection Calendar  has all the details. The company is reminding Unley residents to place bins out on the kerb by 6am on normal collection days to ensure they are collected.

For any uncollected bins, residents can contact East Waste to report a missed bin online or by phoning 8347 5111.

East Waste will aim to ensure that the service transition is seamless but are also asking residents to be patient if they experience any changes or delays in the service.

All waste services – including hard waste, and requests for additional or replacement bins, will now be provided through East Waste, who can be contacted anytime via the East Waste website.

For more information about the service changeover, please contact the City of Unley on 8372 5111 or call East Waste on 8347 5111.