Cr Kevin Baker calls for Lake Macquarie City Council to reintroduce weekly general waste collection for homes

Cr Kevin Baker calls for Lake Macquarie City Council to reintroduce weekly general waste collection for homes

Lake Macquarie City Council should reinstatea weekly kerbside collection ofgeneral waste from people’s homes, a councillor says.
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A new domestic wasteroutine was introduced atLake Macquarie late last monthas part of council’s‘Food+Garden=Green’initiative.

It meant red-lidded general waste bins and yellow-topped recycling bins would be emptied fortnightly andagreen waste collection, which included food scraps and otherorganic material,would take place weekly.

After the first fortnight,council has hailed the move a success, reporting a 14 per cent rise in green bin use andabout an extra1000 tonnes of organic matter beingdiverted from landfill.

Read more: Green bin change in Lake Macquarie and easy habit to instil

But CrKevin Baker said hereceived a“significant increase” in complaints aboutbins not being emptied during that time.

Cr Baker called for the weekly garbage collection to return and said he believed council“got the figures wrong”regardingthe amount of organic waste produced at the average Lake Macquarie home.He disputed council’s claim, reported by theNewcastle Heraldlast month, that food waste accounted for about a third of the contents of a household’s general waste bin.

“Based on my own experience and people I’ve spoken to, we aren’t seeing that,” he said.

“A lot of people are putting their green bin out with only a couple of small bags in the bottom.

Read more: Green thumbs up for Lake Macquarie’s new waste system

“If one third of a bin is potential organic waste, why have we only seen an increase of 14 per cent?I love the organics bit, but realistically I think we need to look at getting a weekly general waste service reintroduced.”

A council spokesperson said there had been 83 service requests for missedcollectionsin the past fortnight, but this represented a small fraction of the total86,494collections.

He said council received 22 complaints in that time, among 3909“enquiries” about the newarrangements.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of enquiries to council about the new service, which is expected with any change of this nature,” he said.

Eleebana resident Michelle Shetab said council had replaced seventeen 240L general waste bins with two 1100L bins at a groupof 17 town houses at Warners Bay, where she owns three investment properties.

Each home was given a small bin for food waste as part of the Food+Garden=Green initiative.

She said residents had filled the general waste bins by Monday, butthe greenbins had hardly been used.

“I really don’t think [council] hasthought this through,” she said.

“I’m honestly all for going green, I fully support it and think it’s a great idea, I just think it’s got to be implemented properly.

“If they try to train people to do itthat would be great, but to say‘we’re going to take a half empty binonce a week’when you’ve got afull [general waste]bin collected once a fortnight, that doesn’t teach people, itangers people.”

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