During the past five weeks myself and two other concerned Mirboo North ratepayers have been attempting to convince the council that the new green waste charges are based on poor judgement and will be ineffective. Not only will the charges result in environmental damage, we also believed the recommendations from shire officers were not based on sound economic forecasts, were inequitable, and did not consider all the likely situations that would confront ratepayers when taking green waste to the tip. After two presentations at council and a meeting with the relevant executive officer at the shire, it became obvious that we had lost our battle and the charges were coming in on July 1.
During our meeting at the shire we were told that the existing mulch at the tips would be mulched prior to the new system coming into operation and signs would be installed explaining the charges for various types of trailers and vehicles. As of July 3, neither of those jobs had been completed at the Mirboo North tip, but temporary signs had been provided to the tip manager showing the range of charges. I suppose the same has happened at other tip sites. Anyone who takes a close look at the waste charges will be shocked to see the level they have now reached for all types of waste. Even harder to believe is that just 10 days ago you could take any amount of green waste to the tip and not be charged. Now you would be hit with a $72 charge if you roll up with a caged twin axle trailer. It makes any other sort of inflation look pretty tame.
The charges are scary enough to drive many people into the bush with their waste, but worse than that the charge for a standard trailer is incorrect! Tip managers have been told a level load of green waste in a 6×4 trailer will incur a charge of $10, the amount the council has set for a cubic metre. As many people would know, but not the shire or the councillors apparently, a level load in a standard bin trailer measures just under .65 of a cubic metre, or just over half a cubic metre. Hard to believe nobody thought to check the capacity of the most commonly used piece of equipment for ratepayers taking waste to the tip, yet the mayor informs me that all recommendations from shire officers are carefully considered by councillors – clearly not so in this case.
I sincerely believe that the council has made an extremely poor decision in implementing charges for green waste, and now to find one of the key charges set is incorrect and a blatant rip off for ratepayers, it just adds to my belief that we, as ratepayers, are not the first consideration when council policy is determined.
Ian Bristow, Mirboo North.