Illegal dumping prompts hurried waste collection roll out

Illegal dumping prompts hurried waste collection roll out

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The SJ Shire will rush the rollout of pre-booked bulk waste collections to pacify irate residents and stem the tide of illegal dumping.

For the second time during this long-running waste services saga, President Rob Coales has superseded his shire officers’ recommended solutions with his own version.

In March President Coales stepped in to add a third green waste verge collection for residents in the coming 12 months.

On Monday, he introduced an alternate proposal to bring forward the start of the pre-booked bulk waste collections to June.

Officers had recommended an August start date in their report to council so as to not overlap with the added green waste collection in July and to enable enough time for the booking platform software to be tailored for the shire.

President Coales’ alternate motion included the provision of $30,000 to employ two temporary staff members to help expedite the process.

“This has been the single biggest issue we have had to deal with as a new council since October,” he said.

“The community is agitated. The community is vocal. The community wants us to act.

“Members of our community have not been able to get rid of hard waste since February 1.

“It’s very clear that some members of the community are dumping rubbish in areas of the shire, and that is quite concerning.

“It is quite evident that would continue if the start date wasn’t until August. And I’m not prepared to put up with that as shire president.”

Mr Coales said he and shire CEO Paul Martin had been confronted by an angry resident who threatened to not pay his upcoming rates, because he was not receiving the services he was entitled to.

But councillors were split on whether to support the president’s solution.

Councillor Morgan Byas expressed concern about the potential for reputational damage to the shire if the rollout was botched because it was done too hastily.

He asked for clarification from CEO Paul Martin about how the booking system would operate if the software wasn’t ready by June.

Mr Martin said he presumed it would be done ‘manually’.

Cr Byas also raised his concerns about the potential for confusion if the scheme wasn’t communicated properly to residents, fearing a resident putting out their hard waste for pre-booked collection could trigger “a whole street” to follow suit.

Cr Nathan Bishop also expressed his hesitancy, stating “too much is unknown about this interim measure” for him to support te president’s motion.

But Cr Tricia Duggin said she believed employing extra staff would help to make the process go more seamlessly.

And Cr Shaye Mack said that while good communication would be ‘imperative’, “communication goes two ways”.

“We also need to listen to our community,” he said.

President Coales’ alternate motion passed with four votes to three.

Steann Pty Ltd have now been contracted to deliver both the verge green waste and pre-booked bulk waste collections for the next two years, with possibility of an extension for a further year.

From June, SJ residents will be able to book two free collections of bulk waste measuring three-metres-cubed. Residents needing any extra collections will be charged a fee of $160 plus GST per collection.

 

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