No support for hard waste collection

ALBURY councillor Darren Cameron’s attempt to resurrect a hard waste collection in the city has been soundly rejected.

He could only attract the support of one colleague, Cr Ross Jackson, in his bid to bring back the service dumped nearly three years ago.

The policy adopted in March 2010 to cease the collection and provide four tip vouchers for each household remains.

Cr Cameron pushed for the reintroduction of the service and a reduction of vouchers to the Albury tip to only two.

He said rubbish collection was a “core function” of the council.

“It is a service many elderly and disadvantaged people rely on,” Cr Cameron said.

“It is one of the central reasons why we collect rates and one of the priority areas we should be spending money on.

“It won’t be without expense. But I certainly hope none of my fellow councillors are going to make the argument we can’t afford this service.”

Cr Cameron was referring to the council bankrolling a large part of the $3.5 million shortfall on the art gallery project.

The option he pushed for would cost $1.03 million compared to the four-voucher system which costs close to $780,000.

The cheapest option was to reintroduce the hard waste service but eliminate vouchers at a cost of $470,000.

The council forecasts more than 4500 tonnes of waste will be taken to the tip by residents.

But the council has conceded the home-based collection service instigated in 2010 to assist the elderly or disadvantaged could be better promoted.

Cr David Thurley strongly supported the present arrangements.

“We have major issues in our community with sustainabilty,” he said.

“That means recycling, water, energy and to re-introduce a hard waste collection seems to me to be sending entirely the wrong message that it is OK to chuck your rubbish out, someone will take it away and you won’t need to see or deal with it.

“We are under pressure from state government and EPA to reduce waste.

“The lifespan of our landfill is not infinite.”

A push by Cr Cameron for a 20 per cent pensioner discount on tip charges lapsed due to the lack of a seconder.

Darren Cameron.

Darren Cameron.