Hobsons Bay council has been criticised for asking people to drop off excess rubbish at its operations centre on Saturdays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, the council cut garbage collections from weekly to fortnightly under a new four-bin recycling system.
With high numbers of people working from home, self-isolating or being in quarantine, an interim weekly excess rubbish drop-off service has been established, the council said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In these exceptional circumstances, council recognises that some households may generate higher volumes of household waste,” it said.
“The drop-off service will support Hobsons Bay residents to dispose of their additional volumes of rubbish at no charge.
“Strict social distancing measures will be in place, in line with state and federal government requirements and clear, easy to follow instructions will be provided by staff onsite.
“Residents will not need to touch anything, they will only need to drop their tied, secured rubbish bags (bags cannot be open or overflowing) into a garbage disposal bay.
“Advice from the state government has confirmed that waste drop-offs are part of the waste service the chief medical officer has deemed an essential service in the current state of emergency.”
Members of the community were quick to criticise the council on its Facebook page.
Geraldine Kavanagh asked if it was an April Fool’s joke.
“People have constantly been told to stay home and isolate, and now we have to wander the streets with our rubbish bins behind us? Or do we load the rubbish into our cars and drive there?”
David Hatley posted: “How about Hobsons Bay City Council just apply common sense during this COVID-19 lockdown and return the weekly collection of landfill rubbish.”
Lillian Priest wrote: “It is beyond staggering that you are telling people to leave their homes when we are being told to stay home by federal and state governments.”
The council said it hoped to “soon offer additional or upsized rubbish bins to large households who may require them”.
Disruptions to the supply chain had disrupted current requests for additional bins, it said.