Property owner baulks at high rubbish tip fee

Tipping point: Bob Affleck. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d442837
Tipping point: Bob Affleck. Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d442837

PARKERVILLE resident Bob Affleck says he will pay more to dispose of his household rubbish this year than a property owner with a kerbside home collection.

Mr Affleck lives on a road inaccessible to waste trucks and until recently he was willing to sort, bag and deliver his family rubbish to the nearest waste transfer station.

But he says recent changes to waste service charges by the Shire of Mundaring are unfair.

“The charge for waste self-disposal has risen from zero in 2012 to more than $465 for my family this year, compared to the $460 annual fee for residents with home collection,” Mr Affleck said.

He calculates that with the number of trips he needs to make to the transfer station, $465 is a conservative estimate of the amount he will pay in fees and petrol costs to the transfer station.

The $205 cost of this year’s station pass, available only from the Shire counter, includes four waste-to-landfill passes for a six-by-four high-sided trailer.

Property owners without a kerbside service then pay $5 for a domestic load ticket, allowing disposal of up to the equivalent of 140 litres; the size of a green waste bin.

Mr Affleck lives with his wife and three teenage children on a 2.6ha block in Clifton Road and their family home is one of 275 properties in the shire without a kerbside collection.

The exploration geologist, currently unemployed because of the mining downturn, said he understood the Shire was under pressure to raise revenue but the cost amounted to a 12.7 per cent hike in his rates.

He urges residents in the same situation to ask for a council review.

“It’s disappointing residents weren’t consulted before the council made this decision,” Mr Affleck said.

“My rate notice even says ‘This property is not eligible for tip passes’.”

Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell said the $205 pass included unlimited waste station entries for green waste, recyclables and inert waste (Chidlow site only).

“The large majority of people this year have chosen between 10 and 25 tickets,” he said.

“Based on 25 tickets, a person would incur charges of $330.” However, Mr Affleck said no one would know the true cost until the end of the financial year and larger households made many trips to the transfer station even if they composted and recycled waste regularly.

Mr Throssell said the council had received nine complaints about the change to waste service charges.

“Two residents have requested to go on to the prescribed kerbside service, two do not want to go onto a future prescribed service and two say they do not need a waste service as they compost and recycle all their waste.”

Mr Throssell said properties not on a kerbside service have the option to take up the Shire’s non-prescribed service or take waste to a licensed refuse site.

Shire Health Local Laws require refuse to be disposed of at a recognised and licensed refuse site and any burying, burning or dumping is illegal.