DESPITE the Bass Coast Shire Council previously promising to fix the waste issues over the peak December/January period, some councillors fear we’re going to see a repeat of last summer.
Cr Stephen Fullarton labelled the summer issues a “disaster and a disgrace”, when the shire experienced overflowing and smelly landfill bins, and rubbish scattered across the streets.
The councillor suggested weekly, instead of fortnightly, landfill bin pick-ups during the peak period, as did Cr Les Larke.
“The Bass Coast Council, once again, will be ridiculed by the tourism society. It’s something we promised would be fixed and it’s not,” Cr Fullarton said of watered down shire officer recommendations on the issue.
Deputy Mayor Cr Brett Tessari successfully led a charge to allow holiday home owners to upgrade their 120L landfill bin to 240L for free.
But there are a few conditions:
• The house needs to be registered with council as a holiday home;
• The owner must attend a council waste education program on the use of three-bin system;
• The owner needs to clean their 120L bin to pick-up the new 240L bin;
• From July 1, 2019, the owner agrees to pay the $55 annual fee for the increased bin size – if they decide to continue using the 240L bin.
The deputy mayor said to vote against the additional option takes councillors back to the original recommendations. He said those “don’t seem to get us anywhere”.
“This will help us get through the holiday period,” Cr Tessari said.
“We’re against the rubbish problem, and this is … for one more summer, trying to fix the problem.
“I don’t understand if we acknowledge we have a problem, what the alternative is – if we vote against this.”
The motion did pass, but with some resistance from other councillors.
Cr Bruce Kent questioned if ratepayers should pay for holiday home owners to get a free bin upgrade.
“Some councillors just don’t get it. We’re killing the world,” Cr Kent said.
He added that holiday home owners are probably receiving about $2000 a week rental during the peak summer times.
The Western Port ward councillor said it costs $6 to empty the equivalent of a 120L landfill bin at a transfer site.
“These people don’t love Phillip Island, they want the bins to overflow. Because if they did love Phillip Island, they’d book into a system and pay their local bloke $50 or $60 to come down once a week and pick up that extra bin.”
He said the amended motion was a bit of a compromise, but the three-bin system can work.
“People come down from Melbourne or wherever for six weeks with their bad habits.
“I also suggest that when their own council intends to do systems like this, that those bad habits will disappear.”
He said the Bass Coast Shire Council was way ahead of many metropolitan councils, with an “astronomical” amount of rubbish being diverted out of landfill.
The council also adopted these recommendations:
• Changing the Christmas Day collection services to Boxing Day (last year it was Christmas Eve);
• Continue picking up recycling bins weekly, usually only from December 26 to January 26, until the week after Australia Day weekend;
• Increasing the education campaign around the three-bin system, with a focus on holiday home owners and real estate agents; and
• Placing Waste Services staff at customer service counters between the Christmas and New Year period, to assist with enquiries.