RECYCLING has long been a hot topic in the Whitsundays and although there's been little done to advance the cause of kerbside recycling in recent times, it's a different story for businesses.
For many of the tourists who holiday in our region, recycling is so ingrained in their psyche that they do it themselves.
According to Suzette Pelt, who works for Queensland Yacht Charters and represents the bare boat industry, many of the guests on both charter boats and bare boats in the Whitsundays have for some time sorted their rubbish into different piles for general waste and recycling.
That mentality is shared by many of the operators and late last year there was a push from both the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA) and the Whitsunday Bareboat Industry (WBI) to have recycling bins installed at Abel Point Marina.
That push was supported by Meridien (the company that operates the marina) and after some consultation with the local waste collector, JJ Richards & Sons; an arrangement was made to put a system in place so that recycling could be collected from Abel Point twice a week.
General Manager of Meridien Marinas Abel Point, Richard Barrett, is pleased the move was made.
“Recycling was brought to us by the industry and we're keen to recycle as much as we can,” Mr Barrett said.
For Mr Barrett and Meridien, the bottom line is the bottom line and he said that while recycling was saving his company money they would persevere with it.
This is understandable, particularly as Meridien's total spend on refuse collection at Abel Point in November last year was $27,000.
Mr Barrett said it was hard for him to make comparisons between how much was spent before recycling was introduced and in the time since due to the impact the economic slowdown had made on business but he said he suspected it was making a significant difference.
JJ Richards confirmed that a recycling service was available for businesses and that recycling was anything from $3 to $4 cheaper per wheelie bin to dispose of than general waste.
According to Whitsunday Regional Council's Director of Community and Environment, Gavin Crawford however, savings for businesses would not translate to households which was why a report into kerbside recycling had put a temporary end to the debate last year.
Mr Crawford said that in the case of businesses, savings could be made because costs of disposal were reduced while collection costs stayed the same.
On the other hand, if kerbside recycling was introduced, while savings could be made on disposal, costs would increase significantly on collection.
He explained that this was because general waste would still have to be collected once a week and recycling would also have to be collected at least once a fortnight, which would see total per household costs rise by $80 per year.
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