Waste Management and Minimisation Plan - Frequently Asked Questions

What is solid waste?

Solid waste refers to the rubbish and recycling collected at refuse transfer stations, public litter bins and from kerbside collection services.

Legislation describes waste as "(solid) material that has no further use and is disposed of or discarded".

What is a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP)?

The WMMP is a strategic document to guide Councils towards achieving effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within their districts. All Councils are required to have a WMMP by 1 July 2012, as prescribed by the Waste Minimisation Act. The WMMP will provide us with a blueprint for achieving waste management and minimisation objectives, in a structured way.

Why are the three Councils working together?

Working together should result in higher quality and more efficient services. We already use the same service provider for our refuse and recycling collections for instance, so it makes sense to work on a strategy together.

Why do we need a WMMP?

We want to make sure we are reducing waste going to landfill and to ensure we are really caring for our environment; a WMMP is a good way for us to ensure we are managing waste effectively and minimising out "footprint" wherever possible. This should also result in more efficient services. While legislation requires us to have a WMMP, we want to have a plan that really makes a difference to our environment and for our communities. 

What is a shared service and what are the benefits?

This is when an organisation works with other organisations to operate a service together. So instead of 3 Councils operating 3 different solid waste services, the Councils can work together to provide a single shared-service for their customers. By working together, operating costs can be reduced by sharing overheads and creating more purchasing power when negotiating contracts.

What is a special consultative procedure?

This is a procedure that Councils are required to undertake in certain decision-making circumstances, as defined by the Local Government Act 2002 (section 83), to ensure residents and rate payers are part of the decision making process.

How much rubbish is going to landfill every year?

The three districts together send approximately 37,500 tonnes of rubbish to landfill each year, while we recycle and compost about half as much – nearly 17,000 tonnes. We think we can do better than this.

What is the scope of the WMMP?

The plan covers all of the solid waste that we produce in our districts, including material that is recycled or composted.  It covers not just the waste and recycling that the Councils collect or manage through our transfer stations, but also what businesses and private operators collect, process and dispose.