Have bulky-waste-collections been binned?


dougkThursday, 15 March 2018 - 9:50pm

For the past two decades, usually just before the end of each Financial Year, Council has offered a bulky waste collection service. Sometimes, it is true, the streets of the Cove were not always a beauteous sight for several weeks with some residents putting their bulky rubbish out far too early. Others mistakenly put out items from the Council's will-not-be-collected list. Some of these rejected items stayed by the roadside for weeks afterwards. Past Bulky collect weeks were a great time though for hoarders, DIY-ers - and sometimes the merely curious - to peer and poke at the piles of trash. New life was breathed into many a discarded item. But all that may be no more ...

Both discarders and treasure hunters who have been eagerly anticipating this years bulky waste collection week might well have been dismayed when, on July 26 last year, Council resolved to replace the Bulky Waste Collection with 'One Free Disposal Voucher'. The visual impact, the scavenging and growing costs of waste collection were all arguments used to support this policy change.

This new 2017 policy had its own problems so the Waste Disposal Policy was revisited at MidCoast's Strategic Committee meeting last Wednesday (14 March). The recommendation put before the Strategic Committee was:

That Council:
1) Change the interim voucher system to a free 'drop off' day at all landfills and transfer stations within MidCoast Council area.
2) The service be provided until the waste strategy is adopted or until the end of the current waste collection contract in 2021.
3) The service be provided for domestic use only.
4) As a general guide a standard 6 x 4 trailer load is the acceptable quantity with a maximum load of 250kg (valued at $42.50).
5) All recyclable, processable and reusable materials must be separated by the resident at the waste facility.

Sounds great - provided you have access to a trailer and the capacity to make your way around the Waste Transfer Station sorting out your rubbish as you go! Many of our community do not have access to a trailer or capacity to take material to and sort it at the transfer station.

Our village was fortunate to have had around 30 valiant volunteers roll up on Clean Up Australia Day earlier this month - as well as helpers on other days throughout the year. They have foraged the neighbourhood roadsides for discarded detritus. Much bulky-waste has been pulled from the nearby bush - including items like tyres and mattresses which were on that will-not-be-collected list. It certainly seems that anything that makes it harder for people to dispose of bulky rubbish increases the likelihood that people will use our bushland as a tip.

Fortunately the minutes show that some MidCoast councillors at least were troubled by the above recommendation. After moving into a committee of the whole to discuss the issue the following  resolution was passed:

That an urgent report be brought back to Council which provides options and costings for a call up system and a bulky waste collection system with the report to be based on the following:-
• The service be provided until the waste strategy is adopted or until the end of the current waste collection contract in 2021.
• The service be provided for domestic use only.
• The system to be implemented this year

So we can now have some hope that Council will adopt either a call up system or a bulky waste collection - at least in the short-term.

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