Penrith Council may investigate additional bin collections to cope with a surge in home waste as the pandemic and lockdown rolls on.
Online shopping and takeaway food delivery have soared during lockdown, putting the squeeze on residents’ yellow and red-lidded bins.
Councillor Marcus Cornish has requested Council help the community in a “tangible” way by implementing extra recycling collections.
“With all the parcels we are getting nowadays because we’re all ordering online, we’re getting masses of cardboard, masses of deliveries of food and things like that, I think everyone is having real trouble just on the sheer volume,” he said during Monday night’s Council meeting.
“I’m proposing that we have extra pick-ups of the yellow bin, one extra pick-up per month, which will bring us up to three a month from now until the Christmas break and then review it again then.”
Cr Cornish said it would also avoid people finding other ways to get rid of the excess rubbish.
“That would help alleviate a lot of problems people are having and certainly we don’t want dumping,” he said.
Councillor Bernard Bratusa suggested Council educate residents on how to correctly use their bins.
“I think we need to be a little bit mindful of the fact that we are in lockdown, that we are going to be using our bins more, and probably it wouldn’t hurt also that Council communicate to residents, more from an education perspective perhaps, on how they use the three bins correctly,” he said.
“Because people are probably not realising that they can put paper in the green bin.”
According to Council, the green-lidded FOGO bin can accept uncoated, plastic free paper and cardboard.
This includes newspapers, pizza and burger boxes, paper based food wrapping (eg. fish and chip wrapping and burger wrappers), tissues, paper towels, serviettes, and cardboard boxes with all tape and staples removed.
“We continue to work with our waste collection contractor, Suez, to monitor household bin capacity and presentation,” a Council spokesman said on Tuesday.
“That monitoring shows the current services selected by residents continues to meet their needs.”
Cr Cornish’s request for an urgent vote to determine the issue on Monday night was knocked back.
“Cr Cornish that could well have budget implications,” Mayor Karen McKeown said.
“I would prefer if we got a memo back on the likely costs of that, rather than putting Councillors on the spot.”
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.