Residents angry at Sydney’s Inner West Council’s new red bin rules: ‘No-contact’
Residents in a western Sydney suburb have expressed outrage at the council’s decision to collect red bins every two weeks, with some households fearing it could lead to a real stench in place of the predicted hot summer.
The change coincides with the expansion of the Inner West Council’s food recycling program to single-family homes, where households will be required to dispose of their food waste in FOGO (Green Food Organic and Garden Organic) bins, which will instead be emptied weekly.
The yellow recycling bin will continue to be picked up every two weeks.
But angry residents say they were not given enough advance notice of the changes.
Officially, the council issued a media release on May 22 announcing that the program would begin in October; However, no date was given.
From October 8, residents of Sydney’s Inner West Council will have their red bins collected every two weeks. Image: NCA NewsWire / Brendan Read
Balmain resident Dan Shaw said he only became aware of the new schedule after an angry post in a community Facebook group sparked more than 150 comments.
“I am annoyed by the lack of consultation and disclosure of the changes.” While we need to support the environment and reduce waste, changes need to be carefully planned and implemented. For the most part, the Inner West Council seems to just make its own decisions and ignore community feedback. In a small and crowded area like Balmain, not everyone has room for (three) trash cans.
Mr Shaw said the smell was also a problem. While his family is able to keep their trash cans out of their home, he felt sorry for his neighbors who couldn’t.
“We don’t have any babies, so we don’t have diapers in our bins, but there are a lot of young families and I feel sorry for them,” he said.
“With a very hot summer predicted, one would think winter would be a more appropriate time to try this.”
In the same Facebook thread, residents criticized the decision as “no contact” with citizens.
“My red bin is full of nappies and kitty litter every week.” Living in the city center means our houses and blocks of flats are small and therefore do not have space to store larger or newly installed rubbish bins. What do you suggest?’ wrote one woman.
Another resident believed the program would fail.
“The only place my trash cans fit is next to my kitchen.” I eat a lot of seafood and have cat litter. After a few days my trash cans stink. I just can’t imagine what they would smell like after a week without collecting!!’ She wrote.
Recycling bins will continue to be picked up weekly. Image: NCA NewsWire/Brendan Read
An Inner West Council spokesman said that while recycling food may be “challenging at first”, the impact on the environment will be “significant”. The program is currently available to apartment residents.
“Keeping food and yard waste out of landfills is the biggest thing we can do as a community to help combat climate change,” he said.
“After the initial rollout in October, we will review the data and have the resources to make modifications and changes as necessary.”
The spokesman said the food recycling program is expected to save taxpayers more than $370,000 a year in landfill costs.
The average household can also offset the equivalent of one month of its annual electricity emissions just by complying with the program.
He added that the council will also have a dedicated team to help residents adapt to the new schedule.
“Based on the experiences of other municipalities that have implemented food recycling and bi-weekly red bin collections, they have found that securely packaging diapers, incontinence pads, menstrual products, pet litter and animal waste before disposal in the red bin limits odor nuisance, and that this is the case.” “No increase in smell from one week to two weeks,” he said.
“Residents can also book an additional red bin collection while they adjust to bi-weekly collections.”