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Verdict is in ... jury says ban the bags

CLEANING UP OUR ACT: Dallas Dyer, on Noosa River, is concerned about plastic bags having a negative impact on the environment.
CLEANING UP OUR ACT: Dallas Dyer, on Noosa River, is concerned about plastic bags having a negative impact on the environment. John Mccutcheon

NOOSA is in line for a ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags by 2017 if one of the key recommendations of the council's community jury is adopted.

"Noosa council should phase out the sale and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in Noosa, working closely with retailers to 'ban the bag'," the jury report to council said.

The jurors said this was "an important way to minimise contamination of organic waste and raise the profile of the organic collection service" and pointed out that half of Australia's state and territories had already outlawed these serious environmental hazards.

AND as expected, the shire's 23- person panel of volunteers is advising the councillors to go with a mandatory garden organics waste collection service to urban areas of Noosa.

The three-bin system, which is available in urban areas as an opt-in service, would be rolled out in a "staged manner" in all residential areas starting in 2015/16 "with the collection of organics to be introduced as soon as possible".

"Rural areas are to be exempted with the ability to opt in," the jury report said.

Council manager of waste and environmental health Wayne Schafer has recommended all of the initiatives be agreed to in principle, along with a community education program and believes the service can be delivered for $50 a bin service charge.

But Mr Schafer cautioned councillors who were to discuss the jury's report yesterday that "there are significant financial implications and risks for (the) council associated with implementation of the community jury's recommendations".

He said these would affect a wide section of the community.

"In response to the financial impacts and risks, the recommendations need to be considered carefully with regard to who will receive the services proposed by the jury, how they could be introduced and the timing for their introduction," Mr Schafer said in his report.

"The most suitable method of considering the recommendation is to refer them to a council workshop where the details required to implement the recommendations can be considered in the context of the introduction of the upcoming new waste contract."

The jury has been working towards the five key themes identified of waste avoidance, organic waste, recycling, commercial waste and fees and charges.

 

- PETER GARDINER


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