Environment Minister David Speirs was quoted in The Advertiser today as saying that the State Government would consider all “practical ideas” to improve waste management, including the less-frequent collection of rubbish.
Speirs was responding to a push by local government to explore moving beyond weekly rubbish collection, in the face of increased costs caused by China’s ban on the import of recyclables.
However, the Minister appeared to recant when he appeared at a post-Cabinet press conference today.
“The statements which have been floated by the Local Government Association in the last couple of days in relation to the collection of weekly household waste is something that the State Government is not happy to pay any attention to,” Speirs said.
The previous State Government stipulated weekly rubbish collections in regulations after an unpopular trial of less frequent services in suburban Adelaide.
Overturning the regulations was a proposal that had “never been given significant consideration by the State Government,” Speirs said.
“This idea has been floated with me on numerous occasions and I’ve had conversations with experts and bureaucrats within green industries (in) South Australia, the public sector… but it has never progressed.”
However, he said some councils in regional areas had moved to fortnightly collection and he would be interested to see how that worked out.
Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said Labor would not support any such move in metropolitan Adelaide.
“Cancelling weekly rubbish pick-ups is a truly terrible idea which would have a negative impact on people across the metropolitan area,” he said.
“Most families have no trouble filling their bin on a weekly basis and the thought of a fortnightly pick-up will rightly leave South Australians angry. Stinky, overflowing bins in households across our suburbs is simply unacceptable.”
– with reporting by Stephanie Richards
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