Axe mulching with new vegetation bin pickup for all to save $380,000

A MULCHING service for residents which costs Cumberland Council about $380,000 a year, will be axed from February 2 next year.

Councillors accepted a recommendation to end the Community Mulching Service (CMS) which allows residents to drop off garden vegetation at the Guildford West council depot.
The CMS was introduced by the former Holroyd City Council where residents didn’t have access to a garden waste bin, however following the harmonisation of waste services across the merged LGA, all residents across Cumberland now have access to a garden vegetation bin service.
Garden waste can also be collected as part of the council’s pre-booked kerbside clean-up service which residents can access up to four times a year.
Prior to changes to regulations in 2013, the stockpiled and shredded material from the CMS was used by the council in its bushland maintenance programs. However requirements to compost the material to meet an applicable Australian Standard, made the cost “prohibitive” and it was subsequently delivered to selected organic treatment facilities for processing instead.
A report to councillors noted that the scheme to shred, cart and dispose of the accumulated organic material, cost Cumberland more than $356,000 in the 2018/2019 financial year plus another $30,000 in staff overtime.
According to the report, during the same period, green waste was dropped off at the CMS 3,167 times, with just 115 residents taking back shredded material for their own personal use.
Councillors were told: “There is a localised reputational risk for the council in discontinuing the current CMS, however with alternate garden vegetation material recycling options now available to residents, it is believed that the operational and financial risks in maintaining the CMS are of greater ongoing concern.”