Kerbside waste collections affect us all, so how do local residents rate the service by Yass Valley Council?
Some unhappy residents living along Yass River Road and Triggs Close say they can’t use or afford the $387 per annum fee for a weekly collection recently introduced.
A few of their houses are up long, steep and rocky driveways, making it tricky to bring bins down.
Many simply can’t use it; others didn’t want it as the cost is so much higher than what they are using now.Yass River Rd resident Jan Werner
They, and a number of other Yass Valley residents, say they would rather use the tip or the other local and cheaper collection service, instead of paying council’s larger fee.
“Many simply can’t use it; others didn’t want it as the cost is so much higher than what they are using now,” said Jan Werner, a Yass River Road resident.
The council introduced collections to these properties after receiving several expressions of interest.
Put to a survey of 29 residents, the council received 10 yes votes and eight no votes.
We should have the option to opt in or out.Yass River Road resident Louise McCormack
However, residents say they were disappointed with the decision, and argued that those who voted no should not have to use the service.
“We should have the option to opt in or out,” said Louise McCormack, another Yass River Road resident, who said the collection costs almost $312 more than managing her own waste.
She and neighbour Louise James also argued they don’t need a weekly collection, usually visiting the tip once every three to six weeks.
Once explained that they can leave their bin at the end of their driveway, one resident was happy that they could do so and continued to utilise the service provided.Yass Valley Council
But, under the Local Government Act 1993, all eligible properties where a collection is determined to be provided by a council are required to pay the kerbside waste collection charge.
The council also said that, to date, it’s been contacted by only two residents having difficulty in bringing their bins to the roadside because of their long driveways.
“Once explained that they can leave their bin at the end of their driveway, one resident was happy that they could do so and continued to utilise the service provided,” a council spokesperson said.
We don’t want to pay more rates.Yass River Road resident Kathryn Gillies
If residents have to a collection fee and a tip fee, are there any alternatives?
Kathryn Gillies, another Yass River Road resident, said she’d like to see the number of tip vouchers increased.
“We don’t want to pay more rates,” she said.
Council currently provides two vouchers annually to all ratepayers in the area to dispose of waste at their local transfer station.
The tip fees are ridiculous.Local resident Michelle Cosgrove
Combined, these allow residents to get rid of 600kg of domestic waste or green waste for free each year.
While this may save ratepayers on a few trips, frequent tip users said the fees don’t always add up.
“The tip fees are ridiculous. I go one day and get charged a small amount and the next trip with basically the same kind of stuff and get slogged $32,” local resident Michelle Cosgrove said, responding to a Facebook post by Yass Tribune.
Additional signage is also being installed to make prices and processes clearer to residents using this service.Yass Valley Council
Yass Tribune asked council about the fluctuating fees residents are experiencing.
Council said it had “recently conducted a comprehensive waste service review and identified that weighbridges (a machine that weighs vehicles) need to be installed at both Yass and Murrumbateman transfer stations to assist in the correct costs being applied to each load brought into those transfer stations.”
However, it doesn’t seem to be the car loads that are the issue, with residents saying the price of bags of rubbish changes.
“Additional signage is also being installed to make prices and processes clearer to residents using this service,” council said.
I think with the rates we pay we should have a green waste bin like other towns.Local resident Leina Olah
According to council’s list of Fees and Charges 2018/19, the cost for a wheelie bin general waste under 140L should be $5; small (up to sedan boot) - $12; medium (small trailer, twin cab ute) - $20; large (ute and trailer max height 450mm) - $36; and a small truck - $68.
Among other grievances about Yass Valley’s waste management are the lack of green bins and fortnightly recyclables collection.
Resident Leina Olah said, “I think with the rates we pay we should have a green waste bin like other towns and a weekly pick-up to really enforce recycling because I tend to fill my recycling in two days.”
Yass Tribune asked council if it would consider introducing green bins and a weekly recyclables collection.
Council’s response was, “Requests for additional services, such as weekly kerbside collection of recyclables...and green waste recycling, are reviewed on the basis of feasibility and affordability before community consultation is carried out.”
Residents are currently able to drop their separated recyclables to transfer stations for free in the council area.