State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report


Solid waste

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Young

For all waste generated, Young Shire Council achieved 50% waste to landfill and 50% recycling during the reporting period. There was a major building boom in the town in this period and significant building alterations. As a result the volumes of waste to landfill increased (but only slightly). Much of the material generated was diverted to recycling. Council's participation in regional waste initiatives, including recycling, has also led to a substantial increase in recycling.

A weighbridge was introduced in 2001–02, ensuring more accurate measurement and recording of both waste to landfill and of recycling.

New management arrangements were made to retain village landfills, in spite of some environmental and economic pressures to close them.

The waste stream

Young Shire Council is a member of the South Waste Region Waste Management Group. Council's participation in the regional waste initiatives and changing infrastructure has already had an impact on the amount of land used for waste management and infrastructure costs, with the main putrescible landfill (Victoria Street) converted to a transfer station in 2003–04 to complement the existing Materials Recovery Facility and Green Waste Disposal.

The volumes of both waste to landfill and recycled materials increased during the reporting period (Table 1). Significantly, around half of the total waste generated in the council area was recycled.

With waste generation of 10,317 tonnes in 2003–04, the total waste that council needs to be address is the equivalent of approximately 863 kilograms per person. Taking into account material that was diverted from the waste stream for recycling, waste to landfill represents around 432 kilograms for every person in Young Shire—a considerable reduction.

Table 1. Resource recovery in relation to total waste generation in Young Shire, 2000–01 to 2003–04
TypeAmount of waste generatedChange (%)
00–01 to 03–04
Recycled (tonnes)4168478951945146+ 23 %
Recycled (% of total*)48%50%49%50%
To landfill (tonnes)4535481154165171+ 14 %
To landfill (% of total*)52%50%51%50%
Total8703960010,61010,317+ 19 %

* percentage of total waste stream (landfill plus resource recovery); Source: Young Shire Council

Waste to landfill

Despite a heavy increase in commercial and domestic building activity during the reporting period, the volumes of waste to landfill increased only slightly. Over the last four years there have been a number of major demolitions to make way for new developments (Hospital, Big W, IGA) leading to unpredictable disposal volumes which work against reduction targets. The highest point for building and demolition waste was in 2002–03 (Table 2), reflecting the peak in construction activity. The relationship between waste generation and economy tends to run counter to council's objectives to collect and recycle domestic and business refuse to reduce the waste stream.

As part of its customer service obligations to its ratepayers and residents, council continues to support unlicensed landfill facilities in five villages—at Bendick Murrell, Bribbaree, Koorawatha, Milvale and Tubbul. Delivery volumes are shown in Table 3. Council introduced user-pays and a locked gate system for these village tips and transfer stations during the reporting period. In village landfills, the waste is mixed, may be compacted and is subject to occasional fires. Some waste streaming for recycling is carried out. Council notes that it is difficult to establish trends in these landfilling cells as a volume increase does not necessarily mean that waste disposal increased: it may be that the year before it had more fires or compaction.

Some three to four tonnes of material are reported as being illegally dumped each year. Illegal dumping is not recognised as a major or increasing problem in the shire.

Council is part of the South West Regional Waste Management Group (SWRWMG) and with the introduction of a transfer station at Victoria Street and closure of the landfill site, will be sharing the use of a new site at Jugiong in Harden Shire, along with the seven other member councils of the group.

Table 2. Estimated waste to landfill in Young Shire, 2000–01 to 2003–04
TypeTonnes of waste to landfillChange (%)
00–01 to 03–04
Total household*2385244524872682+ 12
Domestic collection2385244524872682
  Private deliveryn/an/a n/an/a
Commercial and industrial1396154314621524+ 9.2
Building and demolition7548231467965+ 28
Total4535481154165171+ 14

* Domestic collection plus private delivery; n/a = not applicable (included in domestic collection in Young Shire Council reporting figures); Source: Young Shire Council

Council has seven village waste handling facilities. Two of these dispose to the transfer station and are included in the figures in Table 2. The other five still dispose to landfill as unlicensed facilities. Their volumes (not weights) are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Estimated waste to unlicensed village landfills in Young Shire, 2001–02 to 2003–04
LocationCubic metres of waste (estimated)
Bendick Murrell540584550


Early in the reporting period council partnered Mimosa Recycling. Services now include recycling at the Materials Recovery Facility, kerbside pickup, gate operation, green waste management and maintenance and recycling collection at outlying village tips. The volumes of most types of discarded materials increased during the reporting period (see Table 4). General awareness of recycling has risen and council has formalised its garbage system to a 140 litre wheeled bin, the bin size chosen to subtly encourage residents to recycle due to limited garbage volume each week. Council's participation in regional waste initiatives positively supports recycling, with free recycling as an incentive. Council has also had an education program to encourage more responsible waste management.

Table 4. Resource recovery by type/stream in Young Shire, 2000–01 to 2003–04
Material typeAmount of material recycledChange (%)
00–01 to 03–04
Aluminium 114
Cooking oil and fat----
Garden waste/compost245268538494+ 101.6
Glass287448486366+ 27.5
Liquid paper board----
Metals (ferrous)2385265427172715+ 13.8
Motor oil ----
Paper1212132113151480+ 22
Salvage and reuse----
Steel cans-9.113.510.4
Total4168478951945146+ 23.5

Source: Young Shire Council

Table 4 shows that more robust recycling and garbage practices have led to around half of the total waste generated in the shire being recycled in this reporting period.

Other resource implications of waste

Council's investment in waste management for the year to 30 June 2004 of $1,004,424 (Table 5) represents an annual cost of around $84 for every person in the shire.

Table 5: Investment in waste management and resource recovery in Young Shire, 2000–01 to 2003–04
$ 550,792$ 1,019,803$ 988,846$ 1,004,424

About the data

Data were provided from Young Shire Council records. Council uses weighbridge, quantity surveying and estimates (depending on the product) to assess volumes of general waste to landfill and of types of material for recycling.

Per person calculations are on the basis of the estimated residential population of Young Shire as at 30 June 2004—11,957 people.

Other member councils of the South West Region Waste Management Group from the Australian Capital region are Boorowa, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Harden, Tumbarumba, Tumut and Yass.

For additional information on domestic waste management and recycling services, the Department of Local Government Comparative Information publications report annually on four key performance indicators:

These indicators are seen to relate to the economic efficiency and environmental management performance of residential garbage collection services generally provided by councils in urban or town areas.


NSW Department of Local Government (2005) Comparative Information, for years 2000–01, 2001–02 and 2002–03, viewed February 2005,