LAKE Macquarie mayor Greg Piper has rubbished fears that weekly household garbage collections will be axed for a fortnightly service as ‘‘absolute nonsense’’.
‘‘I can reassure everybody that any talk of the community being plagued by cockroaches, maggots, flies and rats because of putrescent waste left rotting in uncollected bins for a month or even a fortnight is nothing more than outrageous scaremongering or, at best, wrong assumptions based on misinformation,’’ Cr Piper said.
‘‘Weekly collection of putrescent waste was started to protect the community’s health and we are not about to destroy it. I say this emphatically; council will continue to have a putrescent weekly collection. Putrescent waste, including dirty nappies, will not become a fortnightly collection service, no matter what,’’ he said.
Cr Piper said the confusion is likely based on the introduction of a third green bin early next year.
Putrescent waste will be collected weekly in the general waste (red-lid) bin.
It will take food or kitchen waste, nappies, styrofoam, clingwrap and similar packaging and even broken glass (wrapped in newspaper).
‘‘That will leave metal and glass which will continue to go into the yellow recycling bin separated into paper and metal or glass-related items, and will remain a fortnightly collection service,’’ Cr Piper said.
‘‘The new green-lid bin will take grass clippings, prunings, etcetera, and that will be a fortnightly collection alternating with the yellow bin.
‘‘In short, it means we will have two bins collected every week instead of the current two bins every other week.’’
Cr Piper said that after two years, and when the processing system caters for it, the green bin may also be used for putrescent waste.
‘‘In that event, the function of the red bin will be reassessed, but whatever the function assigned to the red bin is, putrescent waste will continue to be a weekly collection service,’’ he said.
Cr Piper said the first year of the new three-bin system would save $700,000.
‘‘It would cost around $3.7million to send the estimated 23,000 tonnes of garden waste to landfill, including levies and the new carbon tax charges. Processing it through the new green-bin system will cost $3million. So it also makes good sense financially,’’ he said.
‘‘I know there has been fears of some job losses but my information is that those fears are also likely to prove groundless.
‘‘The putrescent red-bin service will be handled by our own staff throughout the first two-year phase and to do that I believe we will need around 16 people leaving around six positions to be absorbed over two years and I know of some who have indicated to me that it is a welcome opportunity to retire.’’
How bin system will operate...
ON April 1 next year the new green garden waste bin will be collected for the first time. It will be the start of a two-year, Phase 1, three-bin system with council following an alternating collection routine. Simply alternate your green and yellow bins for collection each week.
■Week one Red-lid bin containing kitchen, food and putrescent waste included in the general waste collected weekly.
Yellow-lid bin containing recycled waste paper and metal-related waste such as books and bottles and jars. Collected fortnightly.
■Week two Red-lid bin with general and putrescent waste (collected weekly).
Green-lid bin for organic garden or ‘green’ waste. Includes lawn clippings, leaves, prunings, twigs (no soil, bricks, or stones). Collected fortnightly.