When is the survey open?

The survey is open for two weeks from Monday 29 February to Sunday 13 March 2016.


How can I complete the survey?

Online at http://haveyoursaylakemac.com.au/3-bin-next-step

You will need to register or login to the Have Your Say site to be able to complete the survey.

What is the aim of the survey?

Council is planning for the next step in the 3-bin waste service.

In this survey, we would like your feedback on the look, feel and wording of the communication options we have created – please tell us which options you like best.

You will also be able to view a summary of the results of the food scraps shift survey in late 2015, and read how the community’s responses have helped shape the communications strategy and service options provision for the introduction of the new service.

Can I complete the survey multiple times?

No, please only complete the survey once.

How is the survey being promoted?

The survey is being promoted in two ways:

·  Emailed to all people who are registered with Council’s Have Your Say online engagement portal

·  Emailed to the people who completed the food scraps shift community survey in late 2015 and indicated they would like to be involved in further program activities.

When is the next step in Lake Macquarie’s improved 3-bin waste service expected to start?

The next step is expected to start in the next few years when the new compost facility has been built and commissioned.  Council will let you know the exact day the service will start when this is confirmed.

What’s happening when food scraps shift to the green waste bin?

·  All food scraps (including all cooked and uncooked food, processed food, bread, meat and bones, seafood, dairy, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds, plus fruit and vegetable scraps) can go into the kerbside green waste bin

·  Green waste bins will be emptied weekly and garbage bins will be emptied fortnightly

·  Food scraps and garden waste collected from the green waste bin will be taken to a new composting facility at Awaba where it will be processed into compost, mulch and soil conditioners for use on parks, gardens and sporting grounds

·  Council will provide each household with a kitchen bench top food scrap container and special compostable container liners for separating food scraps from other garbage 

·  Special compostable liners are the only kind that  can be put into your green waste bin

·  Council has no plans to reduce the size of the garbage bin or green waste bin

·  There will be no changes to the recycling service

·  Council will provide a range of information, tools and resources to support all Lake Mac residents to use the new service well. 

·  Council will let you know when the service will start – expected mid 2017.

When the next service starts, why will the green waste bin be emptied weekly and the garbage bin be emptied fortnightly?

Food and other organic material gets smelly as it decomposes. This is why we will continue to collect food scraps each week – but from the green waste bin instead of the garbage bin. Your garbage bin will be emptied fortnightly and all bin sizes stay the same.  This means there will be no change to the total amount of bin space available to you in your 3-bin service. 

Our Citywide bin audits show one third of the material in the average garbage bin is food scraps (by weight), and the average garbage bin is about two thirds full. When all food waste goes in the green waste bin, you will have extra available space in your garbage bin.

In the next step, is there a reduction in kerbside bin services?

No. There will be no reduction to kerbside collection services - the standard household will still have three 240 litre bins (garbage, recycling and green waste), and you will continue to put two bins out on the kerb to be emptied each week (so total bin space per household per fortnight will stay the same).

The changes relate only to what material goes in which bin, and the schedule of which bin goes out each week.

What bin will disposable nappies go in when the next step of the 3-bin service starts?

Soiled nappies will continue to go in the garbage bin.

Council is aware that some parts of the community are concerned about nappies being collected in a fortnightly service, and has done a lot of work around this issue.

As part of Council’s research, an eight-week community nappy trial, that  involved 100 independent households from the community, was held in February 2014 and found that 80 per cent of trial participants said they felt they could manage with fortnightly nappy collection.

Research has also shown more than six other Councils in NSW collect soiled nappies via a fortnightly garbage service.

Council will continue to engage with this section of the community about the next step of the service to identify ways to assist make the transition as smooth as possible.

Why is this next step of the 3-bin service being introduced?

This bin system is being introduced for a number of reasons including:

·  It is the cheapest way to manage our City's waste ($4 million cheaper over 10 years than the next-best option) keeping our waste services as affordable as possible for our residents

·  It will extend the lifespan of our only landfill at Awaba

·  The food and garden waste collected from the green bins will be processed into high quality mulch and compost for use on parks, gardens and sporting grounds

·  In 2010, Council undertook extensive community consultation on the Draft Waste Strategy including public exhibition.  The community preferred the introduction of a two-step green waste bin (firstly for garden waste and then for food scraps and garden waste).

·  More than six other Councils in NSW (including Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Penrith) have successfully implemented the same 3-bin system we are moving to because of the financial, practical and environmental benefits it delivers.

I would like more information, what can I do?

Go to the Waste Strategy pages on our website at www.lakemac.com.au.

Who can I contact at Council to discuss this survey or the next step in Council’s 3-bin system further?

Bridget Saint, Sustainability Engagement Officer, on 4921 0333.