Push to introduce hard rubbish collection for Shepparton

By James Bennett

Shepparton's Paul Shaw has called on Greater Shepparton City Council to consider introducing a kerbside hard rubbish collection.

Mr Shaw submitted that question at last week's ordinary meeting, and was told by chief executive Peter Harriott the idea was not part of the council's future planning.

But Mr Shaw wants more community support.

He said there were plenty of benefits available by introducing a hard rubbish collection including preventing rubbish dumps along the Goulburn River and surrounding bushland.

“I'd like to see the opportunity for people to at least clean their backyards at the cost of the council,” Mr Shaw said.

“You do see rubbish on the side of the road but how much greater is the community when it's clean.

“If a person knew hard rubbish is coming up in two months, they wouldn't go to the bush to dump it today.

“I mow lawns and I see a lot of rubbish in backyards and people just have no way of getting rid of it.”

Mr Shaw believes by introducing hard rubbish collection it will prevent more people from dumping rubbish in the bush.

Mr Shaw said the council should consider an initial trial period.

“They (council) have said 'no’ for a long time. I think it just keeps getting pushed to the background.

“A lot of people are dumping stuff. One issue with the rubbish tips is people can't afford it.

“I understand that it's a fair enough price but people are dumping it because in their minds they can't afford it.

“It would be good to have a two-year period but even just a once-off; then we'll approach it again in five years’ time.

“If we can do it at least once, twice would be perfect, we can just go from there to see if there are benefits for the community.”

Mr Shaw said he had spoken to many locals that agreed with his idea.

“Council told me they revised their 10-year plan and they chose not to go ahead. I believe it's not on their agenda at this moment.

“They've said they've consulted the public but my thing is, everyone I've spoken to said they want hard rubbish collection.”

All councils across Victoria have their own policy on hard rubbish collection.

For example, City of Casey offers two free kerbside collections per calander year which ratepayers can pre-book, while Wellington Shire Council designates one day per year across its numerous towns.

In a statement, Greater Shepparton City Council said:"Earlier this year council adopted a revised Waste Management Strategy following a mid-term review of the 10-year strategy.

“This was an extensive process that included council advertising and seeking community input into the strategy.

“Hard rubbish collection was an initiative considered as part of this review.

“After consideration of the positives and negative aspects of this initiative, council decided not to pursue this service."

Mr Shaw has started a petition, which can be signed at the North Shepparton Community and Learning Centre on Park Side Drive.