Rubbish bin upsize for all?

All Hobsons Bay households could upsize their garbage bins for free. (Joe Mastroianni) 204669_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

All Hobsons Bay households could be able to upsize their garbage bins free of charge under a proposal to be debated at a June council meeting.

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

Originally, the council offered the free upsize under the rationale of “some larger households generating higher than normal volumes of rubbish while being at home as a result of coronavirus pandemic government restrictions”.

The current free upsize is available for households with four or more permanent residents, and one or more people in nappies or with medical needs.

In February last year, the council cut its weekly garbage collection to fortnightly.

At last week’s council meeting, councillors debated whether to extend the free upsize until June 30, 2022, for eligible households or for everyone.

Cr Tony Briffa last week moved that all households should eligible for a free upsize.

Sustainable communities director Penelope Winslade said going from the proposed limited upsize to an open upsize would cost an extra $250,000 in operating expenditure and about $450,000 in capital cost.

“Our estimate of a free upsize with no restrictions would be that approximately 25 per cent of the municipality would uptake that service,” she said.

“That would cost in the order of $500,000 per year on an operating basis and around $450,000 for the capital cost to deliver those additional bins.

“That’s relative to an estimated cost for continuing the current more-limited program of around $250,000 in operating, and obviously the capital cost has already been invested.”

The issue has been deferred to the June 29 council meeting.