No time to waste for Latrobe City hard rubbish

KERBSIDE collection of hard rubbish is back on Latrobe City Council’s agenda after more than a decade since the service was ceased.

Describing the issue as a passion of hers at Monday night’s meeting, councillor Sharon Gibson put forward a motion to look into offering the service once more.

“Hard rubbish has been a bugbear of mine for a long time – we didn’t have it, but other councils could have it,” Cr Gibson told The Express.

“I understand the reasons were given, but the reason I put that motion up is to see what we can do about having hard rubbish back.

“It was one of the most utilised and popular services we had.”

In 2004, Council ceased kerbside hard waste collection based on occupational health and safety advice it said it received from WorkSafe Victoria.

In a heartened discussion on Monday night, councillors highlighted that other shires across Victoria such as neighbouring Wellington Shire still offered the service.

Cr Graeme Middlemiss said he could not understand why it was not allowed in Latrobe City while Cr Kellie O’Callaghan pointed to Wellington’s website which acknowledges how to combat health and safety concerns.

Cr Middlemiss told The Express it was time council approached WorkSafe and hoped a conversation would take place at the political level.

“What we are seeking from the government is justification about why this is not allowed to take place in Latrobe City, but can take place across the state,” Cr Middlemiss said.

“My problem with this is one of fairness – there are many councils around Victoria that are happily continuing with kerbside hard waste collection.”

A WorkSafe spokesperson said it was a matter for council to offer kerbside hard rubbish collection and not a decision WorkSafe made.

“Should it do so, it is council’s responsibility to meet its obligations under the OHS laws, which includes having systems in place to manage the health and safety risks to employees or contractors undertaking the work,” the spokesperson said.

Wellington is currently advertising its annual kerbside hard waste collection, taking place in separate towns from September through to November.

Its website lists what can and can’t be collected, how much material will be accepted from each household and where and when the hard waste can be placed on nature strips.

“Kerbside hard rubbish has been a thorn in my side for a long time – hopefully now we can actually have some results,” Cr Gibson said.

“I can’t pre-empt it, but I would like to see us get hard rubbish back.

“Why can some councils have it but not us? That’s what I’d like to know.”