Following a council investigation, it was discovered that 700 recycle bins were routinely dumped into the same garbage truck as garbage bins. Canterbury Bankstown revised its waste management system after The Herald revealed that the practice had persisted for years, infuriating locals who had diligently separated recyclables from their landfill without being informed that their efforts were futile.
The council has adjusted runs and added more trucks in response. Additionally, it is introducing new technology that will allow for the targeted targeting of education campaigns by identifying which neighborhoods and streets regularly contaminate recycling trucks.
The controversy surrounding the revelations has fueled a local movement to split Canterbury Bankstown. This mega-council was established in 2016 as part of the contentious Baird government’s plan to combine Sydney’s local councils.
Mayor Khal Asfour stated on Monday that the preliminary results of the garbage review, which was sparked by the Herald’s story, showed that general and recycled waste was mixed in small streets and laneways because the size of the streets presented a safety risk to larger trucks.
Each fortnight, it affected 700 of the 400,000 bins in the area. The problem, according to him, was with the enormous side loaders because they are large trucks that pose a safety risk to both drivers and pedestrians. As a result, the council had expanded its fleet with more compact trucks that could more easily fit into confined spaces. The Herald was also informed by citizens of other councils that they had observed trash collectors engaging in the same behavior.
According to Tony Khoury, executive director of the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW, councils were frequently compelled to perform bin collections during daytime hours as a result of complaints about noise at night.
When trucks ran into children and commuters, it created safety concerns, which in turn forced waste collectors to reduce the number of trucks in congested streets. Two trucks would significantly increase the already high level of safety risk in the neighborhood’s congested streets, he claimed. Asfour claimed that the new camera technology, mounted on trucks, would help identify troublesome residences and streets. According to Canterbury Bankstown Council, about 30% of recycling bins are also contaminated, mostly with plastic bags. These areas would be the focus of education campaigns.
Asfour stated, “The truth is that recycling bins are contaminated all over Sydney and likely the entire country.” “For that reason, the level of contamination will be reduced by this technology.” Many locals, especially in the Canterbury region, are in favor of the de-amalgamation of Canterbury Bankstown Council. In order to reinstate Canterbury City and Bankstown City Councils, the council is putting together a business case to present to the NSW government.
Locals are being consulted because many of them believe they were coerced into merging while wealthier council areas, like Mosman, Hunters Hill, and Lane Cove, successfully challenged the policy in court and prevailed. Corrupt practices at the previous Canterbury Council were under investigation.
A demerger, according to Asfour, would raise rates. “Each ratepayer would pay about $300 per year. It’s not just a matter of whether you want to demerge; you also need to consider whether you want to do so if doing so will increase your costs, he said.