Like a vergin’

STIRLING city councillors are getting jittery over their decision to slash verge collections from four to two collections a year.

The council has been inundated with complaints since moving this year to one green waste and one bulk verge collection.

Cr Rod Willox says he’d never seen so much rubbish around Mt Lawley and says he’s been flooded with emails and calls from upset residents.

Cr Elizabeth Re notes the council didn’t consult residents and, despite advertising the change, many remained unaware.

Cr Stephanie Proud warns colleagues against getting cold feet and losing sight of the initial vision to stop waste going to landfill.

“To go back to four collections would be a mistake,” she says.

“One option is to investigate a subsidy for collecting excess rubbish every fortnight.”

In 2011/12 the council paid a contractor $275,000 more than it  had planned to and staff estimated rates would have to rise $3 per household simply to maintain the level of service.

A report estimated cutting to two collections would save $500,000 a year: Whether that’s been achieved is not known.

Cr Bill Stewart wants to about-face and consider funding an extra two verge collections in the 2013/14 budget review: “Sometimes as councillors we have to admit we got it wrong.”

But his move was narrowly defeated, with the council voting to stick with two collections.

Rockingham city council is considering stopping all verge collections while Victoria Park town council might downsize to one bulk and one greenwaste collection every year.


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