Verge collection doubt

Households that put out more than their allowance, and scavengers who rip through other people’s verge collections, are to blame, along with rising costs.

The once-a-year verge collection is available to all households.

Use of the collection is significant, according to the City of Mandurah, but collections are frequently extended because of high volumes of rubbish in which streets are disfigured by untidy waste.

The council said an increasing number of households were putting out volumes greater than the specified 3sq m. It could collect rubbish regardless of volume, or simply collect the allowed amount.

A combination of the volume and the activities of scavengers caused streets to look unsightly for up to three months and were responsible for a growing number of complaints and adverse comments that did not reflect well on a tourist destination.

The current system is believed to be the most equitable because it can be used by all ratepayers, but is not equitable because not all households use the service and some put out lower volumes than others.

Distribution costs are based on gross rental values, with households with higher GRVs paying more for the service, regardless of use.

The council was expected to consider three options at its meeting last night (Tuesday), although withdrawal of the service is the recommended option.

Others include: continuing with the current model which, despite criticism, is well used and the most cost-effective; providing street skips for defined periods; or an all year round system in which waste is collected from households on a booking system.

Withdrawal could lead to increased illegal dumping which, according to the council, is already occurring.

If the service is withdrawn, the council would consider issuing two general and two green waste vouchers per year rather than the current four annual green waste vouchers.