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New partnership to benefit social housing tenants

A new partnership between Armidale Regional Council and social housing provider Homes North is set to increase education around waste disposal and provide more opportunities for the region’s most vulnerable to properly discard bulk waste.

The two organisations will collaborate to implement a Regional Social Housing Waste Strategy, which is a move that Mayor Ian Tiley says will maximise the amount of waste diverted from landfill, while greatly assisting the region’s low income earners.

“In the areas that have a high volume of social housing, we often find bulky items are illegally dumped or people hold onto rubbish due to not having the means to go to the waste management facility,” said Mayor Tiley.

“Through this pilot program, Council and Homes North will work together to rectify these issues and increase education around waste disposal to better equip them for the future.”

The program will be trialled for twelve months, and will include regular bulk waste and metal collection days for social housing tenants. Skip bins will be provided in five separate locations, and will give tenants the opportunity to dispose of items such as mattresses and white goods. These will then be recycled and correctly disposed of by Council.
This will be complemented by education campaigns to teach people about the correct ways to sort rubbish and how to minimise the amount of waste going into landfill.

Homes North is the region’s largest social housing provider and manages over 600 tenancies in Armidale and Guyra. The organisation’s CEO Maree McKenzie said this pilot program will help address significant challenges faced by tenants that can often be overlooked.

“Our tenants often don’t have suitable vehicles to transport items to waste management facilities, or they don’t have the means to pay the disposal fees,” said Ms McKenzie.

“Without any options for disposing of waste people have no choice but to store the waste, which can result in vermin and health related issues, or dump it illegally out of desperation - which is frustrating for the rest of the community.”

“We hope this program will prevent these issues while increasing awareness around correct waste disposal.”

The twelve month program will get underway straight away, with the first collection scheduled for October.

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