Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2022) . . Page.. 753 ..
Those people really struggle, and we should not charge them more. We should not expect them to take up the role in their own time. We should not expect them to buy bi-carb soda, or whatever it was that was proposed, to clean out their own garbage bins to avoid the smell. When there was a weekly collection, they did not have that. They did not have those time, cost and effort constraints. But this is the solution that the directorate is proposing: wash out your bin more frequently. I find it amazing that we are putting that onus back onto the individual in so many ways.
All residents should be able to have their say, not just if they are lucky enough to get a slip in the mail, but through a meaningful online system. The slip in the mail is also useful because I hear from some older people—not all older people but some older people—that they prefer getting something that is paper based, although for many of us these days the online option is automatic.
The other part of my motion calls on the government to investigate how a re-usable nappy scheme could be introduced into the ACT and report back on these findings by the end of June this year. Other councils, such as Blacktown City Council, have a cloth nappy rebate scheme to help reduce the number of disposable nappies ending up in landfill. Nappies have been a key concern in the switch from weekly to fortnightly rubbish collections. Instead of penalising people for their rubbish, I would like to see the government incentivising people to make better choices—a carrot rather than a stick; encouragement rather than punishment; entrusting our residents rather than mistrusting them. The difference of this government is that they want to punish everyone. (Time expired.)
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (3.14): Since November 2021 the ACT government has been undertaking a trial of a weekly food organic and garden organic collection service for residents in four Belconnen suburbs. This trial has been initiated to inform the design and delivery model for a city-wide household FOGO collection service in the future. Prior to the commencement of the trial, the ACT government undertook wide-ranging research into community support for our initiatives to reduce waste. The research showed that 92 per cent of respondents supported the government’s plans for the collection and processing of FOGO materials to reduce waste going into landfill. This helped inform our commitment to instigate the pilot.
Throughout the trial, residents have been provided with a large green FOGO bin, a kitchen caddy and compostable liners to recycle food waste alongside green waste in their FOGO bin. We have seen and heard a great response from Canberrans in the trial suburbs, with very low rates of contamination; enthusiastic commentary about the shift to separation of FOGO and its impact in reducing the amount of waste going to red bins; and appreciation for the service, making it easier for households to take everyday action on climate change.
As part of the trial, the collection schedule for regular general waste collections, or red bins, has been updated from weekly to fortnightly. I acknowledge that this has been more challenging for some people in the trial, and we have heard from some households that they are not happy about this transition. Change can sometimes be