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2 September 2021

Shared vs Individual Bins: how waste arrangements can blow out a construction budget

The type of bin arrangement a development adopts can create a domino effect, leading to significant additional costs during the construction stages of the development process.

Domino 1: Shared Bins

A common arrangement in multi-unit developments is a central bin storage facility containing bins that the residents share. This arrangement is often favoured by Councils since it reduces the number of bins presented to the kerb for collection and, consequently, lowers collection times.

Domino 2: Owners Corporation

With a shared bin arrangement, an Owners Corporation is required to maintain the bin storage facility, arrange the transfer of bins to and from the collection point, and manage the associated collection payments.

Domino 3: Building Classification

For some developments, the necessity of activating an Owners Corporation can trigger a change in the class of a building, resulting in millions of dollars extra in potential construction costs associated with the intended purpose of the building.

A Recent Ratio Case Study

Ratio’s waste team recently prepared a Waste Management Plan (WMP) for a proposed townhouse development in North Melbourne where the client was seeking to deliver an individual bin arrangement in lieu of a shared bin arrangement to avoid a change in class of the building from Class 1 to Class 2.

Council initially requested a shared bin arrangement to be provided, claiming that the development would already require the appointment of an Owners Corporation to manage common property on the site β€’ in this case, an internal driveway β€’ and it was therefore possible to capitalise on this existent requirement for an Owners Corporation by providing a shared bin arrangement.

Ratio’s waste team reasoned that an Owners Corporation would not be required for the development as there was no common property. Ratio provided a plan of subdivision to Council, demonstrating that the driveway could instead be defined as a collection of easements, the upkeep of which would be managed by the residents themselves.

As a result, Council agreed to support an individual bin arrangement for this development, a decision which meant there would be no change to the class of the building and therefore no additional constructions costs to be paid by the client.

To find out more, or for waste management advice for your project, contact author and Environmental Consultant Mitchell Fairlie.

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