Food and garden waste are set to be picked up free at every Geraldton home by 2022 if the council next week decides to approve its proposed waste-management plan for the next decade but recyclables will not be. The City of Greater Geraldton held a Food and Garden Organics kerbside service trial of 500 households and endorsed the service to be implemented across Geraldton within the next two years in its Strategic Waste Management and Recycling Action Plan 2020-2030. Kerbside recycling will not be provided, despite its growing popularity among residents, because of its low yields and high costs to transport recyclables to be processed and their markets. CGG investigated kerbside recycling in 2010 but did not progress due to financial implications and a comparison undertaken in 2014 concluded an organics recycling system would be most appropriate to the city. The SWMRP explained most separated recycling material previously sent from Australia does not meet the new China National Sword contamination thresholds, which has led to a significant reduction in the value of recycled packaging materials and reduced the viability of recycling programs offered by local governments. This impact is greatest in locations outside of the metropolitan area, where the existing services already face higher unit costs. Existing recycling methods in Geraldton include drop-off services at the landfill site, WA’s container deposit scheme Containers for Change, the Reuse and Recycle Shop and the free blue-bin plastic recycling program located at various schools and community centres throughout the city. But current recycling commodity downturns have negatively affected operating profits for the Reuse and Recycle Shop, with its operator advising the City if the trend continued, it would no longer be able to undertake processing of recyclables. The City held the community survey to better understand the community’s knowledge and views on waste and recycling, which showed the desire for kerbside recycling was gaining traction, while kerbside FOGO was also strongly supported. The survey received 750 respondents over the two-week period, representing a response rate of about 2 per cent of the city’s population. The plan was raised at the council’s agenda forum on Tuesday, with no councillors raising any issues with the item, which will go to a vote on November 24.