New technology sucks for garbos

RUBBISH collection fees in Perth could soar because technology is making the traditional garbo obsolete.

So far just one apartment block has opted out of Perth city council’s rubbish service because it’s got suction tubes that deposit refuse into a skip bin collected by private contractors, but the council’s techies are worried.

They fear that as more people adopt the new technology, there’ll be fewer and fewer  to share the costs of maintaining the council’s fleet of rubbish trucks and garbos, so fees will have to rise.

The council’s trucks can’t pick up the skip bins.

Adding more pressure to the system, the council was recently told by its lawyers  that a group of owners who opted out after a barney over where there bins were collected couldn’t be charged the annual fee (which ranges from $180 for residents to $260 a bin for businesses).

The council had refused to collect the bins from a narrow alley, but the owners refused to walk them out into the street and contracted a private operator with a more nimble truck.

To combat the trend in property owners opting out the PCC wants to charge a two-part fee; one for those who still use the council service, plus an annual admin charge for everyone whether their rubbish gets picked up or not.

Councillors adopted that plan in principle on Tuesday night and will now look at the nitty gritties such as what the two rates will be.

by DAVID BELL

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