The annual kerbside pickup of discarded household goods around Byron Shire has been scrapped as a result of widespread illegal dumping during the collection period.
Instead, Byron Shire Council will replace it with an annual landfill drop-off for all residents.
Councillors last week made the decision after staff reviewed the kerbside pickup and recommended the drop-off as a much more cost-effective way of running the service.
From July, all Shire households will be allowed an annual drop-off of up to 150kg of permissible unwanted items to the Myocum landfill.
Cr Richard Staples said the dumping of unwanted goods on road reserves and public land ‘was not only unsightly and unsafe, it was also costing the Shire’.
Cr Staples said the replacement service was a better way of delivering a cleaner Shire as the kerbside pickup ‘made sustainable waste management difficult’.
The pickup was previously only available to town households and not for rural ones, which staff said had sparked an ‘eruption’ of illegal dumping of unwanted items throughout the Shire during the kerbside cleanup.
Cr Staples said the annual kerbside pickup posed many safety hazards for contract workers and Council staff including handling sharp objects and sodden heavy furniture and mattresses.
Public risks, particularly for children, engaged in scavenging of piles of dumped goods was also a major concern.
The cost of last year’s kerbside cleanup was just under $100,000, while the cost to clean up the piles of illegally dumped goods during the same period was around $25,000.
But Cr Staples said this cost did not include staff’s handling of complaints, inspections and the coordination of the service.
He said that under the new system, householders could take an original copy of their July rates notice at any time to the Myocum landfill and dispose of up to 150kg of unwanted bulky items.
‘Regardless of whether a person lives in town or in a rural area, residents can now dispose of unwanted bulky goods in one go when it suits them. If you are moving house, or getting ready for visitors, unwanted items can be dropped at the landfill then, rather than waiting for it to be picked up at a time that is less convenient,’ he said.
For households who are renting, a voucher system will be set up to allow for the landfill drop-off.
Items that can be dropped off as part of the 150kg of bulky items include appliances, furniture, bedding, carpet, surfboards, garden equipment, fridges, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, filing cabinets, washing machines and dryers, lawn mowers, bikes, metal bed bases and hot water systems.
Council currently has free drop-off facilities for computers, televisions and other electronic waste. Sorted recyclables can also be dropped at Myocum free of charge.