Lake Macquarie City Council's three-bin system to face biggest test over Christmas

WEIGHT AND SEE: Council has given residents a pre-Christmas reminder that all three bins have a maximum weight limit of 80kg. Picture: Supplied
WEIGHT AND SEE: Council has given residents a pre-Christmas reminder that all three bins have a maximum weight limit of 80kg. Picture: Supplied

LAKE Macquarie City Council’s ‘greener three-bin system’ faces its biggest test over Christmas with the fortnightly collection of the garbage (red) bin under most pressure.

Council, it seems, has anticipated the potential for trouble by reminding residents of the 80kg weight limit for all bins.

“During this festive season it's important to remember that all bins have a maximum weight limit of 80kg, including the upsized 360-litre recycling bin,” council said.

“If you have trouble taking your bin to the kerb, this is a good indication that the bin is probably too heavy for the truck to lift and may not be collected.”

Council is reminding residents that if they have excess recyclables over Christmas - including glass bottles and cardboard packaging - they can be disposed of for free at Awaba Waste Management Facility.

The council introduced its greener three-bin system in July.

Under the new regime, green bins are emptied every week, and garbage (red) and recycling bins (yellow) are emptied fortnightly, on alternate weeks.

Food scraps are now deposited in green bins where they are processed into compost.

The new system has been embraced by many residents, and celebrated at the industry level.

This month the council took out the most outstanding metropolitan local government category at the inaugural Waste and Resources Recovery Awards.

And the Awaba composting facility, operated by Remondis, was also a finalist in the best facility over $10 million category at the awards.

But not everyone is a fan.

Some 2200 residents signed a petition calling for council to retain the weekly collection of the garbage bins.

And comments on Facebook last week suggest that the fortnightly collection of the red bins was still a problem for some residents.

“LMCC, you are forcing people to dump rubbish illegally by your ridiculous new system,” one reader wrote.

Another said: “Maybe you can get another award by getting rid of the ants that your food scrap bin has attracted on my kitchen bench, and another award for letting us know how to squeeze two weeks rubbish in a bin made for one week’s rubbish.”

Some residents spoke of problems with flies and maggots.

Council’s website details a range of measures that residents can take to minimise flies and maggots in their bins.

Residents can also pay a fee to have an additional fortnightly garbage service (that is, two red bins), or a weekly garbage service.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the green bin would be collected on alternating weeks. This was incorrect. The green bin is collected weekly.

Making news