'Annoying' bin problem sparks neighbourhood dispute after council note

It's a sight often seen on bin collection days around the country, but is the driver doing anything illegal?

An Aussie man who was issued a written directive by his council after his bins were obstructed by a parked car says he was forced to take matters into his own hands when it happened again.

In a series of images taken last week, a red Skoda with P-plates can be seen parked on a street in Ngunnawal, a suburb in Canberra's north, in front of Sachin Paudel’s property. It wouldn’t usually be a problem except it was bin collection day and the vehicle was in the way of the Paudel's red- and green-lidded bins.

“On Tuesday night when I put my bin out, the car wasn’t there, but on Wednesday morning it was,” the 34-year-old man, who lives with his wife, told Yahoo News, before explaining that it wasn’t the first time it had happened.

The red car parked in front of two rubbish bins at Ngunnawal in the ACT.
Sachin Paudel said he had already put the bins out on the kerb, ready for collection day, when the red car parked there two weeks in a row. Source: Supplied

“The same car was parked in front of our bins when I left for work last Wednesday and when I came back from work there was a notice on the bin to put the bins away from the car. It said something like, ‘we had trouble collecting your bin, please put your bin away from cars’.”

“Annoyed”, Paudel didn’t want to be caught out again on Wednesday so left a message for the driver to move his vehicle immediately.

“I left a note on the car before I left for work,” he said. The note is visible in one of his photos and says: ‘Please DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF BINS!’

He also left behind the notice he'd received from the bin collectors the previous week as a warning. He said he would like to see the driver fined if they park there again on bin day, especially as there is no reason for the driver to leave their vehicle there on the quiet street.

Paudel said he has to leave his bins on the kerb in that spot, just down from his driveway, because there is no room to get his car out around the bins on collection day.

A note on the red car (left) and a close-up (right).
The 34-year-old resident was forced to take matters into his own hands and leave a note for the P-plate driver. Source: Supplied

So, who is in the wrong?

Unfortunately, the situation is pretty muddy when it comes to Paudel and his neighbour.

“If the vehicle is illegally parked, it can be reported to Access Canberra who can investigate, confirm the issue, and may issue an infringement,” an ACT government spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

But the car isn’t illegally parked, so Paudel has no hope of the vehicle being towed or the driver being fined.

Instead, the spokesperson encouraged the resident to try to resolve the problem themselves, adding that “often in these situations, people aren’t aware they’re causing an issue”.

“The first step would be to reach out to the vehicle owner and express any concerns and come to a mutual agreement,” the spokesperson said.

“Alternatively, the bin owner may wish to relocate their bins to the driveway for easy access for the garbage trucks.”

The red car parked in front of the bins.
Paudel would like to see the driver fined if it happens again. Source: Supplied

What are the rules when it comes to bin collection?

To ensure bins are collected, ACT residents are asked to follow a series of rules:

  1. Put the bin out before 7am on collection days.

  2. Place the bin facing the road with the wheels at the back.

  3. Leave a gap of 30 centimetres between bins so the truck's arms can pick it up.

  4. Keep the bins a minimum of one metre away from any obstruction, such as trees, poles or parked cars.

  5. Residents are also asked to ensure bins are not too heavy (less than 80kg for recycling and landfill and less than 50kg for green waste).

  6. Bin lids must be able to completely close.

What happens if you don't stick to the rules?

But if residents fail to follow any of these guidelines, the worst that can happen is their rubbish won't be picked up.

“If households do not follow the guidelines, their bins may not be collected and will be tagged to provide information about the issue and offer instruction on how to arrange to have the waste collected,” the ACT government spokesperson said.

When it comes to what's inside household bins, the spokesperson said there are “a number of checks in place to help educate the community and reduce contamination” but there is no punishment for those who do the wrong thing.

“The ACT Government does not currently fine resident's for contamination of household waste. ACT Government takes an education first approach to managing these concerns and works with residents to help them understand the issue and provide residents with information and guidance to assist them in the future.”

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