THE “bring out your dead” tradition in Vincent is headed for the trash pile with councillors voting to end bulk verge collections.
On Tuesday (April 2) Vincent councillors unanimously supported Cr Josh Topelberg’s motion to not renew the city’s tender for bulk verge collection.
He cited a truckload of reasons to dump the system including:
• Unsightly verges for two months a year (or even more since many people put stuff out early and that’s on top of the green waste collection months);
• Rubbish blowing around neighbourhoods;
• Late-night verge hunters creeping around the neighbourhood;
• Illegal dumping on other people’s property; and,
• People dumping after collection dates meant garbos have to do another pass.
“I’ve been known in my younger days to be a kerb-surfer looking for stuff – back when there used to be things,” Cr Topelberg told councillors.
“I think I’ve got a restored chair somewhere in the house that was once on somebody’s verge.
“In the days of Gumtree and Buy Nothing, those days are pretty much over.”
He said he’d heard a lot of complaints this year about rubbish being strewn around neighbourhoods, including someone putting a big freezer full of meat on their verge for two weeks in the summer sun.
During the verge collection the freezer door opened and the rancid meat toppled out.
The stench lingered for two days and council workers eventually had to replace the mulch outside the property.
Vincent Deputy mayor Susan Gontaszewski seconded the motion and said this was the worst year yet for complaints about verge junk.
Mayor Emma Cole said “there are the stalwarts out there that love it, but yes I definitely agree with Cr Gontaszewski, I certainly fielded way more complaints this year than previous”.
She said only 15 per cent of verge collection junk is diverted from landfill, “and while there is this perception that a lot is picked up off the verge and recycled…it doesn’t hit anywhere near close what you can recycle if you use other methods”.
Vincent councillors have asked staff to come up with an alternative to verge collections by June.
Some neighbouring councils give residents tip passes or let them have a skip occasionally.
The motion doesn’t specify an alternative.
by DAVID BELL