Residents of new development fume after bins not emptied for weeks: 'Terrible smell'

Rubbish trucks are reportedly having issues accessing the bins on the narrow street due to parked cars.

The narrow street in Deception Bay, Queensland, where residents say their rubbish bins are not being collected.
Residents living on a narrow street in Deception Bay, Queensland, claim their rubbish bins are not being collected. Source: Google Maps

Residents of a new housing development in Brisbane’s north are battling growing “piles” of smelly rubbish after they say the council failed to empty their bins for weeks.

Aidan Templeton moved into a duplex on a narrow, dead-end street in Deception Bay a month ago, but claims that in that time his rubbish has only been collected once, and his recycling bins have never been emptied.

“Some of the rubbish has literally been dumped, there was a pile of it dumped at the end of the street,” he told The ABC this week. “It’s a terrible smell…actually, right now I’ve got nowhere to put my excess recycling, so it’s piled up on the side of my alley.”

Templeton said when his bins weren’t collected for a second week in a row, he contacted the City of Moreton Bay council, who reportedly told him they couldn’t be emptied because of cars parked on the street.

Recycling bins (yellow lids) sit with general waste bins on a nature strip in Sydney.
One man who moved into a duplex on the street a month ago claims his rubbish has only been collected once, and his recycling bins have never been emptied. Source: AAP

However, when he and other residents moved their wheelie bins further down the road so they were easier to access, Templeton said the rubbish was still not picked up.

He claims the council also said the trucks were unable to turn on the dead-end road and encouraged residents to “pile up all excess recycling waste we needed to get rid of on the side of the street” so workers can collect it by hand.

“Supposedly the driveways at the end of the street are actually reinforced so that the driveways themselves could be used as truck turnarounds,” Templeton told the publication. “[But] isn’t the driveway part of the residents’ property? Why are they being converted into truck-turnarounds?”

A City of Moreton Bay council spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News that while rubbish trucks service the area every Friday, not everyone’s rubbish can be collected due to residents parking “in the turnaround easement”.

“The kerbside collection trucks require enough space to turn around at the end of dead end streets,” they said, explaining that if there are access issues, the truck driver will service as many properties as they can on one side before reversing out. The council's contractor, Cleanaway, “typically” returns later the same day or over the following days to service homes on the other side of the street.

“At the end of Seagrass Street, there are easements in place for the trucks to turn around in, however until recently these easements were not supported by the appropriate signage to inform residents and visitors of the requirement to keep these areas clear on the day of service,” the spokesperson added.

New signage has since been installed and letters encouraging residents to keep the area clear on bin days were sent out last week. In addition, the council’s Local Laws team “have visited the area to issue warning notices (not infringement notices) to support the installation” of the new signs.

While “waste collection services are always considered for each and every [new] development”, in some cases the new road will dead end the council has the “developer construct turnarounds that sometimes encompass easements to service the waste collection vehicle turnaround manoeuvres in the short term”, the spokesperson said.

“Frequently these become the driveway entries for the residence. In the fullness of time, they become redundant. Obviously, this is not our first choice for a solution, but is used during a phased development.”

The Canberra man's bins out on the curb, ready for collection day, with a red car parked in front.
Last month, a Canberra man's bins were not emptied after a red car parked in front of them. Source: Supplied

New housing developments popping up across the country have sparked several concerns, including “serious” urban heat concerns and fury over mounds of rubbish being illegally dumped on narrow roads.

Another is building developers not taking into account the needs of street parking, leading to them getting “clogged up” and causing issues with waste collection services, Lyndall Bryant, a senior lecturer in property economics told The ABC.

Last month, a man living in a suburb in Canberra’s north was issued a written directive by his council after his bins were obstructed by a stranger’s parked car.

“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 told Yahoo News, before explaining that it wasn’t the first time it had happened.

“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’.”

To prevent the same problem from happening again, the man left a note on the car asking the driver to move the vehicle immediately.

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