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FLEXiSKIP - An idea for large household waste

Mr Fleming today spoke passionately about his vision to see Logan leading the way with state-of-the-art waste management systems including a revolutionary change to the way kerbside collection is handled.

‘We can do better’ he stated ‘there is no reason that Logan cannot be a world leader in this area, that we can’t set the stage for our children and their children to have a better future here in our beautiful city.

Inspired by an off the cuff comment from a local resident who mentioned that his kerbside rubbish was still to be collected two weeks after the pickup date, Stewart went on the hunt to see if there was an alternative to the copious amounts of rubbish left on the kerb for weeks at time in preparation for kerbside collection. In consultation with other local residents he found that it was quite a common practice for rubbish to be left behind and as a result the waste was left sitting roadside for lengthy periods of time.

As a result of his research into this issue, Stewart met with Steve Rohloff, co-founder of the Handle Group a local business committed to reducing waste across our City with state-of-the-art waste management solutions. Steve introduced the FLEXiSKiP model of handling kerbside rubbish and as Stewart said, ‘it was an absolute light-bulb moment’.

The FLEXiSKiP model clan support Logan to divert +80% of bulky kerbside waste currently going to landfill through education, sustainable waste management practices and re-purposing waste for the Logan community.

Quite simply FLEXiSKiP is a portable skip bin which will be delivered to each resident when required. They simply ring and request their FLEXiSKiP, fill it with their waste that would have previously sat on the kerbside and ring Handle for collection.

The operational cost for the recycling centre will be around $500k per annum and will employ 5 people full time - targeting individuals from social enterprise and/or long term unemployed - and divert approximately 3,800 tons of valuable “waste" from landfill. In addition, delivery of the bulky kerbside model will engage up to 15 part-time crane trucks from local Logan businesses. This model will ensure local money stays within the local community.

This could be a win not only for our local environment but for our local economy as we see more jobs created and the money flowing back into our local businesses.

More Information

More Information

1) Where are FLEXiSKiP's based? 

Currently they distribute FLEXiSKiP’s to all national locations from Eagle Farm. The distribution model uses Fastway (now Aramex) as they are franchise based and operated by local people.

If there is a need to distribute internally (for expediency) for a ‘whole of Logan’ delivery model, they will engage a local Logan employee (long term unemployed) in a branded vehicle to deliver and act as a customer service representative.

2) How will the recycling work? 

They will set up a recycling facility in Logan to process all waste returned from bulky kerbside collections. This could potentially be done at Yourtown, as we have previously had discussions with them. The 5 FTE will be engaged from social enterprise or long-term unemployed to sort through and separate waste into piles for recycled or reuse.

FLEXiSKiP believe they can extract almost 3,800 tonnes of waste from landfill based on numbers available to them. The operating costs of the facility will be approx. $500k in property lease, licensing, salary/wages and commodity recycling; but this will be fully invested in Logan.

In addition, the collection model for FLEXiSKiP will generate work for up to 15 part time trucks sourced from the local Logan area. This is on top of the $500k.

3) FLEXiSKiP's pricing on their web site shows different figures.

 The pricing displayed on their website is for general users purchasing one or two bags at a time and is not reflective of the possible Council model.

The basic model I looked at allowed for 111,061 dwellings @ 34% uptake (percentage of residents presenting waste for collection):

111,061 x 34% = 37,760 dwellings participating

We are still to work up a detail model for Logan however at say $50 / 3m3 FLEXiSKiP (delivered and collected) it would be $1,880,037 plus disposal (see point 4).

Two things to note:

  1. a) Uptake at 34% is higher than published averages of around 30% with City of Gold Coast working on 28% (reducing cost by over $300,000).
  2. b) Council, under the new model has the ability to limit the number of FLEXiSKiP’s offered each year to control spending on the kerbside waste model.

A total cost model for collection and disposal would be around $2M with 70% of this staying within the Logan region through local collection agents and the recycling facility. The balance would be for FLEXiSKiP's manufacturing costs and overhead.

 4) What will the system cost?

The estimated figure of $850,000 on the current system is based on the cost of disposal of this waste only, not in delivering the entire model. The figure was calculated on 34,761 dwellings generating 118 kg per dwelling on average with disposal costs in Logan at $191/ton:

(37,760 x 0.118) x 191 = $851,034

More work is needed to understand the current collection costs before this project is implemented but the indications are that this will save money and the environment.

5) Are the bags are reusable?

For the safety rating we have for the FLEXiSKiP under the Australian Standards for an FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulking Container) is for single use. FLEXiSKiP are not comfortable repackaging/reusing FLEXiSKiP’s which have been used for carrying waste so only tested it for single use. We have a partner engaged which will RECYCLE the FLEXiSKiP once used.

6) What payment system will be available?

The FLEXiSKiP model is totally flexible and allows for a variety of implementation models from user pays, user part-payment, or Council pays - it depends on the Council. Another SE Qld Council floated an idea of them paying for disposal with the user paying for FLEXiSKiP. There are also options for the user to pay for additional services, at a discounted rate, to keep waste from landfill and reduce cost traffic at waste facilities which is offered by a few Councils in WA.