Blue Mountains City Council has again extended the period to book for extra chipping services, in order to help residents who are preparing their homes for bushfires.
Residents need to book for the service by Friday, December 13 at bmccbookaservice.com.au. Council will chip material, making it easier for it to be removed via the fortnightly green bin collection for garden vegetation, until Christmas.
"Our preferred option is that we come to you to avoid unnecessary stress, cost and queuing at the waste management facilities," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.
"We are offering these extra free chipping services so we can get to as many residencies in the Blue Mountains as possible, during this period of preparation."
Council will also accept green waste at Blaxland and Katoomba tips from Friday, December 13 until Monday, December 23 for a nominal fee of $37.50 regardless of the size of the load.
Only the minimum green waste fee will be charged to balance council's obligation to pay the NSW State Government Waste Levy. This allows council to efficiently manage the increased demand at the facilities and minimise queuing, as well as providing certainty in the cost of a load for residents.
The $37.50 fee, regardless of the amount of green waste, will mean that those who want to bring material to one of council's facilities can do so more quickly, given that each vehicle bringing in only green waste will not have to be weighed and vehicles will be allowed to exit behind the gatehouse instead of over the weighbridge.
"We are requesting that residents carefully consider whether they do need to bring other waste to a waste management facility at this time, as we are prioritising the acceptance of green waste," said the mayor.
"I thank residents for their efforts to date in preparing their properties and our extra services will assist those who still have some things to do to get ready."
Although there is no immediate threat to Blue Mountains residents, the RFS has urged residents to get ready given fires are north and south of the city. If fire approaches the city it may become necessary to close the waste management facilities.
All council bushland reserves east of Scenic World, at Katoomba, were reopened to the public on December 9 but access to the valley remains closed. Get more information
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) continues to have closures in this area. Go to the National Parks website or call the NPWS Heritage Centre on 4787 8877 for more information.
"Blue Mountains residents need to have their Bush Fire Survival Plan ready now, for their own safety and the safety of their families. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes," said Cr Greenhill.
The latest RFS Community Newsletter states that proactive fire mitigation works are being implemented across significant areas of the Blue Mountains. Works include fire trail and asset protection zone inspection and maintenance, to lessen the potential impacts of fire.