Dump day supported

ALTHOUGH a recent free e-waste collection weekend has been hailed as a success, Kiama residents may soon have further options to dispose of items throughout the rest of the year.

Kiama Council offered a free e-waste collection on April 4-5.

Residents and small businesses were able to take unwanted e-waste items to the Minnamurra Recycling Facility for recycling.

The event resulted in an estimated 48 tonnes of e-waste collected, 786 cars through the gates and a high percentage of small computer e-waste.

Also, 52 per cent of participants were over 50 years of age, and 56 per cent of participants had previously attended e-waste events.

Kiama Council's waste management officer Josephine St John said the total e-waste collected was significantly down from council's previous event in February 2013, when about 98 tonnes was received.

She attributed this to residents now having more disposal options available.

"The federal government's product stewardship scheme for e-waste has enabled quite a few councils to have drop-off options for people, who can take it to other council areas," she said.

"We hope to possibly have e-waste as a drop-off item at our facility here at Minnamurra.

"We're looking at having it [e-waste] as an ongoing item that can be dumped at our facility, [but] it's all subject to grants.

"We're potentially looking at that in the future, pending grants from the state government's Waste Less, Recycle More program."

She hoped it would be in place by the end of this year.

Mrs St John said illegal dumping of items such as mattresses and costs associated with that needed to be addressed from a regional perspective.

"Disposal of a mattress costs $25 for the individual, but costs council up to $150 if it's illegally dumped," she said.

"[E-waste] is not so prevalent in our illegal dumping these days, as there are so many other options."

Mrs St John also rebuked residents' complaints that the costs of the drop-off event, such as flashing notice boards and traffic controllers, were paid from ratepayers' funds.

She said associated costs were met by the federal government's scheme, and that council merely provided the site.

"Overall, Kiama residents are great for things like that," Mrs St John said of the event.

"We pay $312 a tonne for disposing of our waste at Shellharbour City Council.

"We don't have a landfill and they patronise events really well."

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