A COMPULSORY six-month kerbside garbage and recycling collection service will continue at Venus Bay.
The service, first introduced last summer, the time of year when resident numbers are at their peak at the coastal town, will recommence in November and conclude in April 2017.
In an update to South Gippsland Shire Council on the performance of the compulsory service after its first season of operation, waste management supervisor Pete Roberts said that the service was well utilised.
He said that an average of 350 garbage bins were emptied on each collection day and approximately 500 recycling bins were emptied on each recycling collection day.
A total of 101 tonnes of garbage and 46 tonnes of recycling were collected from Venus Bay over the six-month service period.
There was a significant drop in the number of customers dropping off bags or bins of domestic garbage and recycling at the Venus Bay Transfer Station, though the hours of opening remain the same.
Significantly, indications are that bagged household waste dumped in public litter bins has dropped from 60 to 80 per cent of the contents of the bins prior to the introduction of the service to less than 20 per cent since the service was introduced.
The compulsory service was introduced in a bid to combat the inappropriate dumping of domestic waste in and around public litter bins in Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower, which has occurred over many years, particularly in the peak summer holiday season.
In an effort to understand and address the problem, an audit of rubbish bins was undertaken to determine the nature and source of the waste. The audits identified that the main cause of the overflowing bins was dumped household waste.
Various options were trialled to solve the problem, such as increasing the number of public litter bins over summer and increasing the frequency of collection, but the problem persisted.
In July 2013, Council introduced optional kerbside garbage and recycling collection services for Venus Bay properties. Property owners could choose to receive either a full year service or a November to April service. Although more than 200 Venus Bay property owners chose to take up the services, more than 1400 property owners did not and the problem continued.
In August 2015, Parks Victoria removed public litter bins from the carparks at several of the main beaches. This compounded the problem, and Council decided to bring Venus Bay into line with the vast majority of towns and trial a compulsory rubbish collection service.
Council received many complaints from the public following the announcement of the compulsory service, generally regarding the compulsory nature of the service and its financial impact. The complaints, however, gradually tailed off. Once the bins were delivered there were very few complaints at all.
On the plus side, there has been a significant reduction in litter caused by overflowing litter bins since the introduction of a compulsory service, as well as a significant reduction in illegal dumping. An increased number of properties are opting for a 12-month service. This is currently optional and is budgeted at $227 per household in the 2016/17 budget, compared to $145.25 for the compulsory six-month service, which will recommence in November.
“The service overall has achieved what we set out to achieve,” said Mr Roberts.
The compulsory kerbside garbage and recycling collection service for the 2016/17 year will commence on Monday, November 7, and conclude on Monday, April 24, 2017.