Ser­vice cleaned up

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony.raggatt@news.com.au

A FREE hard waste col­lec­tion ser­vice op­er­ated by Townsville City Coun­cil is be­ing re­vamped af­ter com­plaints the city’s streets were look­ing like dumps.

The coun­cil’s wa­ter and waste ser­vices de­part­ment has re­viewed the scheme, pre­sent­ing op­tions cut­ting the time frame for col­lec­tion to times out­side of the cy­clone sea­son and re­duc­ing the num­ber of col­lec­tion zones, to try to make it eas­ier for peo­ple to know when to put un­wanted goods out on the foot­path.

Act­ing Mayor Les Walker said there were some ar­eas of the scheme which needed im­prove­ment but that mostly the feed­back from peo­ple had been fan­tas­tic.

“This is the first time coun­cil has done this in more than a decade, so we have taken on board all the com­mu­nity feed­back and we will make changes to im­prove the ser­vice,” Cr Walker said.

“There are some ar­eas of im­prove­ment and that’s why staff have worked on a new stream­lined pro­gram what will be sim­pler and quicker.”

The coun­cil’s wa­ter and waste com­mit­tee yes­ter­day ac- cepted a rec­om­men­da­tion to re­duce the pro­gram time frame to about 26 weeks to op­er­ate be­tween April and Novem­ber.

The num­ber of col­lec­tion zones will be re­duced from 25 to nine or 10, to align with sub­urb bound­aries and post­codes.

The scheme was started in late Jan­uary and is now about 90 per cent com­plete, with some out­ly­ing ar­eas such as Alice River, Ru­pertswood, Range­wood and Wood­stock yet to be done.

Cr Walker said the rec­om­men­da­tions for change, which would go to the full coun­cil at its meet­ing later this month, were good ones.

“This takes us well and truly away from the wet sea­son and cy­clone sea­son, which is a great out­come. That’s us lis­ten­ing to the com­mu­nity,” Cr Walker said.

He said all hard rub­bish col­lec­tions were not pleas­ing to the eye but that the ben­e­fit was be­ing proac­tive to re­move the ma­te­rial from peo­ple’s prop­er­ties rather than be­ing re­ac­tive af­ter a cy­clone.

Cr Walker said there was no doubt the changes would help mit­i­gate peo­ple’s con­cerns about the length of time be­ing taken to col­lect the rub­bish.

Changes to the zones would also help com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“That’s crit­i­cal, so peo­ple have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing ( of when to place rub­bish on the foot­path),” Cr Walker said.

But Cr Walker said the feed­back from the pub­lic about the scheme had been “fan­tas­tic”.

“The com­mu­nity love it, more so those ( peo­ple) that don’t get the op­por­tu­nity to go to the tip with the hard rub­bish,” Cr Walker said.

So far, the scheme has col­lected 3500 tonnes of hard rub­bish, with about 10 per cent of that white goods.

About 42 per cent of house­holds par­tic­i­pated, with the aver­age house­hold pile weigh­ing 100kg.

The coun­cil in­cluded an al­lo­ca­tion of $ 1.1 mil­lion in its 2018- 19 bud­get for this year’s col­lec­tion and to com­mence the 2019 ser­vice.

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