Background of the three-bin service

In 2015, after public consultation, Council adopted the City of Lake Macquarie Waste Strategy (2015-2023). The waste strategy initially focused on domestic waste as it makes up to 70 per cent of all the City's waste that goes to landfill.

On 28 February 2011, Council decided to introduce the preferred option consisting of the following key elements:

Working out the best waste system for us

Council has completed a range of community engagement and research work to ensure the transition to the phased 3-bin waste service is as smooth as possible for the Lake Macquarie community.

Kerbside food waste trial

In Spring 2016, 70 households in Rathmines and Fishing Point participated in a 66 day trial the kerbside food waste service. The trial participants were provided with a starter kit identical to what will be rolled out to the Lake Macquarie community in 2018. 

During the kerbside food waste service trial:

What trial participants said:

Findings from other NSW councils experience

Twenty five other councils in NSW have successfully implemented the same or a comparable bin system that we are adopting because of the financial, practical and environmental benefits it delivers.

Community nappy trial

In February 2014, 100 Lake Macquarie homes who use disposable nappies or incontinence aids participated in an eight-week community nappy trial to help guide on the best way to manage disposable infant nappies or incontinence waste when the change occurs. Households received a separate bin for their nappy waste. The bin was collected fortnightly and the residents recorded observations records (including how full the bin was and the odour at the one week and two week mark) plus surveys at the start and end of the trail.

Some of the key findings of the nappy trial were:

Download and read the full report from the community nappy trial.

Findings from other NSW councils experience

At the time of the nappy trial, six NSW councils had introduced food and garden waste bin as a weekly service, with a standard fortnightly garbage service. None of these Councils have reported a significant on-going problem with disposal of nappies/incontinence aids.

Council decision

On 24 November 2014, Council considered the results of the community nappy trial and resolved that soiled absorbent hygiene products would continue to be disposed of in the fortnightly garbage bin in Phase 2 of the 3-bin service. Council also resolved to provide an additional bin and a weekly service option for a fee to those households that wish to use it.

Community engagement

From July 2010 to October 2010, we conducted extensive community engagement to raise awareness and seek community input on the future of waste in the City, culminating in the public exhibition of the preferred waste technology through the Draft Waste Strategy (2010 -2040).

The consultation methods included workshops, information sessions, an online discussion forum, structured debate, one-on-one correspondence, submission forms and a representative community survey. In total, more than 1600 residents contributed to the discussion on the future of the City's waste services.

From this, the Community Consultation Report – Waste Strategy Project was published. The clear message from the consultation was that the majority of residents supported the preferred option, including the introduction of the phased three-bin system (64 per cent of submissions during public exhibition, 69 per cent of survey respondents).

Alongside the consultation program, Council developed a campaign to raise community awareness of the waste issues driving the need for change. This campaign used a pirate to convey these messages along with a call to action – Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (ARRR). The campaign won the RH Doherty award for communication in 2011

From 2012 to 2013, Council implemented an extensive community education and engagement campaign to support the introduction of the new green waste service. In 2014, the introduction of this new service won the Local Government NSW Excellence in Environment award – Organics Recovery.

We are currently preparing for Phase 2 of the 3-bin service.

See other initiatives of the Waste Strategy Project.

Page last updated: 14 June 2017