Scavengers beware. Blue Mountains City Council is about to put you out of a job.
Last week Blue Mountains Deputy Mayor Mark Greenhill and Ward 4 Councillor Anton Von Schulenburg outlined a radical change to the large annual rubbish pick-up which will mean the days of couches, TVs, mattresses and unwanted bric-a-brac lying outside of homes for weeks on end will be a thing of the past come July.
“Scavengers will be disappointed and scrap metal collectors too but they are taking money which doesn’t come back to council . . . taking things of value that council could be on-selling,” Clr Greenhill said after the move was unanimously passed last week.
Following a plan already in place at Penrith City Council, Mountains residents will need to call and book for pick-up of their large items.
Clr Greenhill said councillors received numerous complaints from residents when rubbish was “left sitting outside homes for up to eight weeks, leaving the city like a rubbish dump and presenting both a fire and a safety hazard”.
“With the free annual pick-up residents will be able to leave out twice as much as they did before.
“Waste metal, which was picked up from people’s homes by third parties who would make money off it, will now be collected by council. The revenue earned will go back to the Blue Mountains community through the funding of other environmental initiatives,” he said.
The new system would save council about $60,000 annually and residents would be able to purchase additional pickups.
Greenhill and Von Schulenburg campaigned on waste service reform in the lead-up the council
elections last September and would now work to bring in green composting bins and e-waste collection before the end of 2014, which, with the organic waste alone “would reduce landfill by 43 per cent,” Clr Greenhill said.
Clr Von Schulenburg said they would like to see Blaxland tip closed and converted into a waste transfer station “sooner rather than later, with
residents still dropping their waste off at the site but with the landfill going out of the city to a state of the art facility”.
“The annual pick up was not serving the community well. We want cleaner, greener outcomes for the Blue Mountains and we are working hard to that end.”
Greens councillor, Geordie Willamson, said he supported the changes because it gave council “first option onselling scrap and won’t add to our total waste but it will add to our bottom line”.
Liberal councillor Chris Van der Kley, who also represents Ward 2 where large piles of rubbish still covers the streetscape, said it had been a big issue for ratepayers “with every second email”
complaining about waste.
“Domestic waste in this city is a big issue . . . as soon as those mattresses on the streets get wet you can’t recycle them and it takes four men to move them.”
The move was mooted in 2006 by the then
council but knocked back.