Free bin upsize option

Simon Morgan is among residents petitioning for a return of weekly rubbish collection. Photo: Joe Mastroianni 205059_03

Goya Dmytryshchak

Some Hobsons Bay households will be able to upsize their garbage bins free of charge during the coronavirus crisis.

The council last week announced eligible households could swap their 120 litre bin for a 240 litre bin at no charge until July 2021.

“The offer comes in light of some larger households generating higher than normal volumes of rubbish while being at home as a result of coronavirus pandemic government restrictions,” the council said in a statement.

“The free upsize is available for larger households (with four or more permanent residents), and those with medical or care needs that create additional volumes of waste, such as two or more children in nappies.

“Roughly 20 per cent of households across the municipality will be eligible.

“Eligible households that already have a larger rubbish bin can also apply to access the free period.”

The move comes as a petition signed by 1120 people calls for the reinstatement of a weekly collection, which was cut to fortnightly in February.

Newport’s Simon Morgan, a member of the Hobsons Bay Talking Garbage group, said residents would prefer a weekly service over upsized bins.

“It seems like a nice idea now but nothing comes for free,” he said.

“Next year, residents signing up will be charged more for having this larger bin.

“The cost in money and materials to make and roll out these new bins will come right back to us as council rates.

“There is a perfectly good solution right in front of our eyes, and one that has worked well for thirty years – weekly collection.”

Last month’s council meeting heard that sustainable communities director Penelope Winslade had sought medical advice on whether current fortnightly collection posed a coronavirus risk.

At the start of April, the council introduced an interim rubbish drop-off service for residents at its operations centre on Saturdays “to support households that may generate higher volumes of household waste due to working from home or self isolating”.

This service continues to be available from 8.30am-2.30pm at the Sugar Gum Drive centre.

A council spokesperson said advice from the state government and the Chief Medical Officer had confirmed the interim waste drop-offs were deemed an essential service in the state of emergency.

Residents can apply for a larger bin via the council’s website or by calling 9932 1000.