Aussie residents rage over council's major bin change: 'A farce'

Furious locals hoping to have their bins emptied have instead received a "frustrating" sticker.

Fuming Aussies who put out their overflowing bins earlier this week hoping to wake to find them emptied have not only been left disappointed after realising the next day they were still full, they've also been issued a "frustrating" sticker slapped onto lids.

Last month it was revealed that bins in Sydney's Inner West would be switching from weekly to fortnightly collection as part of the council’s waste strategy. While the move was met with mixed reactions from locals, council representatives claimed that though it may be “challenging at first”, the environmental impact will be “significant”.

Now, just days into the the new trial, dozens of locals who clearly missed the memo have been forced to deal with their overflowing rubbish, during a week where temperatures in Sydney are set to swelter toward the 30 degree mark multiple days in a row.

Photos of the full bins are seen on Facebook.
Inner West locals have fumed after waking to find their bins hadn't been collected, despite the warning. Source: Facebook.

Inner West locals fume after waking to find bins still full

Instead of an empty bin, residents had a sticker placed on their lids, that reminded them of what day rubbish will be taken out in future.

One Inner West local said that where he resides, "every bin in the street is full".

"Instead of being picked up, they have all been left full of rubbish with this sticker applied. What is one supposed to do in this situation," the man asked on a Facebook community page.

Photos of the full bins are seen on Facebook.
Instead of empty bins, locals received a sticker slapped instead. Source: Facebook.

"Yep, same here in Balmain East. I was going to post the same," wrote another.

"Maybe the plan is we follow NYC and just pile the rubbish around the bins. Could someone from council explain who made the assumption that the general waste bins are less than 50 per cent full each week, or are we getting another new jumbo bin.

"Vermin will love two weeks of rotting food scraps great thinking from council."

One person called the lack of communication over the rollout "a farce".

Councillor admits issues with change

Greens Councillor Marghanita da Cruz for Leichhardt admitted the rollout was having "teething problems".

"I agree that this has not been rolled out as well as it could have been, there will be teething problems as we roll out this urgent change to 46,000 houses across the Inner West," she said. "150,000 bins are collected by council from houses and there are another 27,000 MUDs (apartment buildings).

For many households across suburbs like Balmain, Tempe, Annadale and Leichhardt, residents will need to place their food scraps into green food organic and garden organic (FOGO) bins, which will emptied weekly.

Sanitary products, nappies and pet litter will remain red bin items, which will be collected fortnightly — a decision many have already taken issue with.

"We have a lot of smelly nappies that get added to our red bin," a person pointed out. "The same as many households, imagine the smell after a few days of sunshine/heatwaves along with all the other rubbish."

Some praise new bin system

While many have stated that they are less than impressed by council's decision, despite the warning that came over a month in advance, others have praised the initiative, claiming the environment will benefit in the long-run.

"Did you check the waste calendar on the council website? Not sure why its such a problem - this is the first week for the new calendar so just that adjustment and then its plain sailing," one person said, hitting back at critics.

"The other bins don’t need to be emptied as often now that all the FOGO is in the green bins."

"You can book an extra pickup. Just call the council," said another.

Council aware of issues

In response to the ongoing saga, Greens member for Balmain Kobi Shetty said she's "not surprised by locals' feedback".

“The introduction of food organic and garden organic (FOGO) bins in the Inner West is a win for our community that will help us greatly reduce the volume of waste going to landfill in our area," Shetty told Yahoo News Australia.

“While it is a welcome improvement, it is deeply unfortunate that the introduction of FOGO has gotten off to such a rough start. Council staff are doing their very best to make this roll-out a success, but they have been put in a difficult position by being pushed by the Labor-led Council to roll this out quickly. This rushed timeline has left of our community in the lurch – waiting for a rubbish collection that unexpectedly never showed up this week. This change needs to be done well so it doesn’t put residents off something which is really positive for our community.

“I understand people are feeling frustrated by this process, and I’m here to help. If you need an additional bin collection, or if you’re yet to receive your FOGO bin, please contact me directly and I will escalate this with Council staff."

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