Notice of Motion – Free Annual Roadside Waste Collections

Following a number of requests from members of the community, I have given notice that at Council’s next meeting on 21st February, I’ll be moving the following motion:

Notice of Motion – Free Annual Roadside Waste Collections
“That Council resolve to include the reinstatement of free annual community roadside waste collections and at least one free-tip weekend as part of its 2012/13 Budget deliberations”.

Background

Council has previously conducted annual roadside waste collections in the lead-up to the traditional cyclone season thereby encouraging and enabling residents to prepare their homes and properties by removing unwanted items and potentially hazardous material. This practise ceased due to a number of factors including associated costs, public liability concerns and abuse of the system by a minority of residents.

Instead, Council introduced ‘free -tip weekends’ which have been extremely popular with able-bodied residents who have access to vehicles or trailers which are capable of transporting unwanted waste to the landfill disposal facilities.

Unfortunately, those residents without access to suitable vehicles or trailers typically include the elderly, infirm or socially disadvantaged. These residents are adversely impacted because:

  • they cannot take advantage of the free-tip weekends
  • unless they have obliging family, friends or neighbours, they must engage a commercial contrator to remove any hazardous waste material (and especially bulky items);
  • the State Government’s new waste disposal levee has imposed increased costs upon commercial operators which are passed on to their customers.

As a result, these already disadvantaged residents not only miss out on the opportunity to save costs on a free-tip weekend, but in many cases must pay extra to have bulky waste removed as they strive to comply with the pre-cyclone season recommendations as issued by the Council and State agencies .

The recommendation suggests that Council considers a more balanced approach to its disaster preparation strategy and that options be explored to incorporate both a free annual roadside waste collection together with at least one free-tip weekend. Any additional costs that may be incurred should be considered in light of Council’s community service obligations.

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