Council responds to 'disgusting' bin day photo riling up Aussie drivers

A photo showing more than a dozen emptied bins blocking access to vehicles on a suburban street has sparked a fiery reaction. But here's the harmless truth.

Mount Street in Coogee in Sydney with newly emptied bins dotting the street, blocking access to cars.
Residents complained after emptied bins appeared to block access to vehicles in Coogee in Sydney, but the local council has revealed the truth behind the image. Source: Facebook

Australians have declared their frustration and even "disgust" over a inner city scene highlighting a major bin night gripe, with a photo appearing to show more than a dozen newly-emptied bins dumped on the side of the road, blocking access to parked cars on a suburban street.

A concerned Sydneysider, from Coogee in the city's east, uploaded the image showing roughly 20 bins lining Mount Street, after having been emptied by waste collectors on Wednesday morning. The Eastern Suburbs local took issue with the fact five bins appeared to restrict access to a vehicle which was parked in an accessibility bay, reserved for drivers with disabilities.

But the local council has hit back, explaining what was really taking place after the image garnered widespread attention and criticism online, reigniting the debate about street parking and bin etiquette on collection day.

"Randwick Council, how does the disabled driver get in/out of this?" the person wrote online. One responded by saying "how does anyone?". While another argued garbage collectors should "leave the disabled parking spots clear".

"It is purely thoughtlessness, but if you bring the issue to [council's] attention then you are helping them learn something new," a woman suggested. Meanwhile, another urged the person who took the photo to "please contact council directly ... to prevent future incidents".

When Yahoo News Australia contacted Randwick City Council, a spokesperson shed some light on what had likely taken place — throwing cold water on the flames of online outrage.

Mount Street in Coogee in Sydney with newly emptied bins dotting the street, blocking access to cars.
More than a dozen bins were seen lining Mount Street, with a handful blocking access to an accessibility bay. Source: Facebook/Google Maps

"On many Randwick City streets, rubbish collection trucks are unable to access bins on the verge due to parked cars," the spokesperson said. "A crew runs ahead of the collection truck to move bins from the verge to the road so they can be emptied by the collection trucks. Another crew follows behind the truck to move the emptied bins back onto the verge.

"The photo appears to be taken before the crew arrived to move the bins back onto the verge. Council seeks to minimise disruption to road users, and the contractor generally ensures bins are only on the road for a 10 to 15 minute window," they explained.

Most residents are familiar with this process, the spokesperson added, with some offering to help by moving their emptied bins back onto their properties or onto the verge.

Kerbside bin collection is a topic that generally tends to divide Australians, with residents in Sydney's north on Wednesday debating over proper etiquette when it comes to allowing or discouraging 'bin raiding' in a cost-of-living crisis for those seeking loose bottle and can to return for money.

The Northern Beaches local posted an image online of a person supposedly "scavenging through" their bin. They argued that people "make a racket with the bottles rolling on the driveway" while searching the bins, and sometimes "leave rubbish on the ground" after they're finished. The man claimed he crushed the bottles and cans in an effort to deter scavengers, while others appeared appalled by the "cruel" act.

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