Stain on recycling efforts

WOULD you wash your whites with your coloured clothing?

If the answer is no, then why is it so hard to embrace the recycling message?

That's the vexed question the Central Highlands Regional Council is asking, after a survey at Emerald's waste transfer station revealed 82% of commercial vehicles would have to pay the $35 a tonne waste levy to be introduced on December 1.

Only 5% of vehicles were found to be carrying recyclables in the survey period (Monday, August 22 to Thursday, August 25) with another 13% carting mixed loads, which could be separated.

Commercial vehicles at the transfer station averaged 122 a day.

"Ninety-five per cent of commercial vehicles have recyclables, presumably mixed in with general waste," commercial and civil operations head Bill Turner commented.

"We've got to give them the opportunity to get rid of the recyclables (before the waste levy).

"The levy is for commercial and industrial-type waste but we've also got to concentrate on domestic traffic, as well."

Councillor Peter Haylock said it was obvious the council was not getting the word out people should separate recyclables from general waste.

Of the commercial vehicles caught in the survey period, 64% were vans or utes, 27% were light vehicles with trailers and 9% were other categories.

Of those, 13% were carrying mixed waste, including recyclables, 51% contained general waste only, 20% had green waste, 11% mainly builders' rubble and 5% recyclables.

Volumetric surveys have been ordered for the Springsure, Rolleston, Tieri and Gemfields landfills. Blackwater and Lochlees landfills are being readied for the levy's introduction.

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