Vincent suspends bulk verge pickup

VINCENT’S verge rubbish collection, colloquially known as “Bring out your Dead” day, will not be happening during Covid-19 restrictions. 

Usual bin collections will continue but the bulk pick ups due to start April 20 have been canned for now.

A council report says “the city’s contractor has raised serious concern regarding their ability to undertake the scheduled bulk hard waste collections… they are a small team and have health concerns regarding the manual collection and compaction of potentially contaminated bulky household items, given that current health department guidance suggests the Covid-19 virus may survive on hard un-sanitised surfaces for up to three days. 

“There is a risk that should operations commence and staff members fall ill or need to self-isolate, that they will be unable to complete the schedule; potentially leaving numerous waste piles on city verges.”

That’d mean verges stay piled high with garbage until they’ve recovered (we reckon treasure hunters eager to pick through the piles might be thinned out this year too).

Green waste collection 

will continue through to its scheduled end date on April 17, and bulk pickups will return once it’s safe. The council can still pick up mattresses and white goods for a fee. 

The rollout of the three-bin FOGO system due to start in October this year has also been put off at least a year.

Mayor Emma Cole said it was a tough call as they’d done a lot of preparation work behind the scenes, but putting it off will let them focus their attention and resources on Covid-19 relief and recovery.

At the March 30 special meeting, Vincent councillors voted to freeze rates and fees this year. Delaying FOGO saves $203,000 for now and the verge collection would’ve cost $228,000.

There’s also unknowns about whether the contractors will be available for the project, and if the new processing infrastructure needed for FOGO might be delayed.

by DAVID BELL

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