Recovering costs at our resource recovery facilities

Last updated on 19 June 2024

As part of Council’s annual fees and charges review, Council is moving towards a full cost recovery model at our three resource recovery facilities (transfer stations) from 2024-25. 

The below questions and answers aim to elaborate on the changes and why they are happening. 

A full list of fees and charges is attached to the Budget 2024-25, with the resource recovery facilities Accepted items and fees page to be updated from 1 July 2024

How have resource recovery facilities (transfer stations) been operating to this point?

The waste charge funded the free of charge drop-off of leaf litter, lawn clippings and prunings that can be turned into mulch.   

User-pays fees have applied to some types of green waste (loads must be free of weeds, wire, food scraps and other rubbish), non-residents and commercial operators. User-pays fees also apply for other waste streams at the transfer stations.

How were costs previously recovered?

Council had previously been able to provide certain waste services at our transfer stations at no cost as they were funded through the waste charge, charged to ratepayers with a kerbside bin service.  

About 2,000 ratepayers who do not have kerbside bin service have not been paying for these waste services.

What is changing?

Fees will be introduced for services such as residential green waste disposal and comingled recycling. 

Consistent with several other local councils, the green waste disposal charge will be set by cubic metre and estimated by our staff, with a standard 6x4x1 trailer-load of green waste to cost $13.80. 

Introducing user-pays fees at our transfer stations for green waste and comingled recycling aims to cover mulching and staffing costs.  This means that for all ratepayers, there is no increase in the waste charge on rates notices in 2024-25. 

Consistent with Council’s annual fees and charges review, there are also changes in other transfer station fees in consideration of industry costs and other factors.

Why is this changing?

The Victorian Government provided direction that we are no longer able to recover the cost of delivering certain services through the waste charges in annual rates notices.   

This means that services previously provided for ‘free’ at these facilities – such as dropping off residential green waste and comingled recycling – will now incur a fee from 1 July 2024 to cover the cost of providing this service. 

A user-pays model is more equitable. We are doing this as part of addressing increasing costs, and wanting to keep fees low for all ratepayers, as we move to implementing the Victorian Government directive.

What about those without a kerbside bin collection service?

A small percentage of ratepayers within the Macedon Ranges do not currently receive Council’s kerbside waste collection service (about 2,000 properties), due to reasons such as their location or choice to use a private contractor for waste collection. 

These ratepayers do not pay a waste charge as part of their rates notice, and have therefore not been contributing financially to public waste management services provided by Council that they have – and continue to – benefit from.

Is Council just seeking to raise extra revenue through these changes?

No – Council is moving certain costs away from the waste charge on rates notices and introducing fees at our transfer stations to cover service delivery costs.  

This enables Council to keep the waste charge the same in 2024-25.

Will I still be able to obtain free mulch from the resource recovery facilities (transfer stations)?

Yes – residents will still be able to visit transfer stations and self-load mulch onto their own trailers for free. Fees will still apply for loading by Council staff and mulch deliveries.

Won’t charging for residential green waste drop-off increase fire hazards across the shire?

Council is not removing the services provided, only introducing modest fees to cover costs. We hope residents continue to take advantage of these services to reduce green waste on their property, in addition to their green FOGO bins and burning off where appropriate (local laws and other requirements apply). 

Those with larger amounts of green waste have the option to request an extra FOGO bin at $88 each a year, which is a cost-effective way to deal with extra material. 

Council is preparing for an amount of ‘free’ green waste disposal for residents, able to be accessed through vouchers or ‘passes’ as in previous years. This is being finalised and further updates will be provided soon.

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