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Green waste wrangle

Tuesday, 21st December, 2010

City Council will consider processing its own green waste after rejecting a tender that would have cost each homeowner almost $100 a year.

The tenderer, Australian Vermiculture (AV), had asked for as much as $75,000 a month, or $902,000 a year, for three years to deal with Council's organic waste.

A report to Council said in comparison the entire landfill operations currently cost $750,000 a year. AV, which was the only company to submit a tender, already takes green waste at the depot to produce soil enhancing products derived from worm castings.

Under a long-standing arrangement with Council, AV is supplied material that would otherwise go into landfill.

While operational costs might reduce slightly if the tender was awarded, the report said based on an average production of 1600 tonnes per year the overall tendered price from AV was about $400 to $500 a tonne.

"If the tonnages were doubled the overall price per tonne is still approximately four to five times the state average for this type of activity," said the report, which was considered at an extraordinary meeting of Council on Friday.

It said if the tender was chosen the Domestic Waste Management Charge would have to increase by about $95 per household to cover all related costs.

The decision to develop the tender was made in response to a request from AV "to be paid for a range of services", according to the report, which recommended Council process the green waste itself.

Council resolved not to award the tender but instead enter into negotiations with "any person with a view to entering into a contract in relation to the subject matter of the tender".

A report will also be prepared to find out what it will cost Council to process the green waste, after Councillor Tom Kennedy said that would give Council something with which to compare the tender from AV.

After the meeting Mayor Wincen Cuy said the decision meant AV was getting another opportunity to "sit down at the negotiating table" in with Council.

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