NORTHERN Grampians residents say more needs to be done to handle waste across the shire.
The council is calling for public input into its new waste strategy which will focus on viewing waste as a resource rather than matter to be sent to landfill, and will outline the strategic direction for council's waste management program for the next five years.
The program currently includes kerbside collections, transfer stations, public place waste management and community education.
Over 4000 tonnes of municipal waste and 1200 tonnes of recycling are processed from residential and public litter bins and transfer stations across the shire each year.
Northern Grampians Shire Council mayor Councillor Kevin Erwin said council is aware of the high level of community interest in sustainability.
"We really want the community to drive this strategy," Cr Erwin said.
"The more survey responses we receive the better we'll understand what the community thinks about current services and what they would like to see in the future. The information gathered will then be used to develop and implement the waste strategy on behalf of our community."
Northern Grampians resident Glenda Lewin said there weren't enough options for green and organic waste disposal in the region.
Currently there is no kerbside green waste collection in the Northern Grampians Shire.
"There are a lot of green bins in city areas and some in rural areas," she said.
Compost was also another option for organic waste disposal, she said.
"Perhaps providing a community compost where people could go and take from it for their gardens - I think that would be very positive in terms of managing our waste because so much is thrown out."
Stawell Urban Landcare Group president John Pye said a council waste strategy needed to fit in with state and federal strategies - something that he said has failed residents so far.
"The problem in Australia is it's been driven by what's cheapest, not what's sustainable or best for the community," he said. "Whatever this council does, it's going to be in isolation to what is happening nationally.
"I visited Sweden a couple of years ago and only one per cent of their waste goes into landfill."
More leadership was needed at all levels of government, rather than an individualist focus, he said.
"A consultation process is fine but it's not going to solve any problems," he said.
"I might have a great idea that maybe if you take recyclables to transfer stations you don't have to pay for them, because that's what happens now, and I can tell you we actually find recyclables dumped in the bush.
"There's a whole stack of stuff that ends up being dumped because of council policy. But even doing something about that is still in isolation to what happens federally and in state.
"If they (government) are relying on council to fix our waste management process, it's not going to happen.
"All we're going to do is manage the mess that we've already got into."
Concongella Landcare Group president Malcolm Nicholson said his Landcare group focuses more on waste disposal on farm, which comes with its own set of problems.
"Hay bale strands and silage wraps - that's a big issue that I think could be dealt with by a depot," he said.
"We could be tying it up and taking it to a transfer station. There is no home for that sort of stuff. We peel the plastic off and feed them out, so you get this pile of plastic - what do you do with it?"
Stawell also has its own War on Waste group, and member Jenny Greenburger said the council had been very supportive of its efforts to encourage sustainable practices, such as Boomerang Bags and eliminating plastic straws, in the town.
"The big issue for us would be the disposal of green waste," she said.
"Having an additional collection of organic waste would be a huge improvement from our perspective, and that's basically an initiative that only council can put into practice.
"We encourage individuals to use Boomerang Bags instead of plastic bags, and there is a lot we can do to encourage individuals to be more responsible, but in terms of the big ticket projects, we need to see council take it on as a project for everybody."
Ms Greenburger also encouraged anyone interested in getting involved to follow the Facebook page and attend their meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at 5pm at the Stawell Neighbourhood House.
There will be a number of ways for the community to provide input to the strategy including an online survey that can be accessed here.
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