by GRACE JOHNSON
The Inner West Council has backed down from their plan to switch from weekly to fortnightly waste collection after extensive complaints about putrid smells, flies and maggots.
Residents will now be able to opt for weekly collection months after council changed the collection to fortnightly with the rollout of food and organic waste (FOGO) bins.
Since the start of the service in October, council says they have diverted 5900 tonnes of organic waste to compost, instead of rotting in landfill.
But many locals were left with horrible smells and maggots coming from their bins.
Some took to social media to air their frustrations with fortnightly bin collections, which were reportedly often late or missed altogether.
“Who else has maggots in their bins because of two week bin collection ? Happy New Year!” one resident wrote in a local Facebook group.
Around the new year, locals were further outraged when council suggested that they put their food scraps in the freezer to prevent their green-lidded Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) bin from smelling.
“Freeze meat, fish and dairy scraps until bin night,” the Inner West Council wrote on Facebook.
“Store away from sunlight (in fridge or under sink). Wipe your kitchen benchtop bin with vinegar to deter pests. Sprinkle bicarb in the benchtop and outdoor bin to absorb liquids and smells.”
New opt-in service
So far, assistance for residents has included a free, larger 240 litre red bin, which 3600 households have taken up, as well as a free, additional red bin collection which residents can book online when they need it.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne says residents will now be able to have their waste collected weekly at no extra cost.
“We know that it’s not one size fits all and we want to provide even more support to households that are finding the fortnightly red bin collection a challenge,” he said in a statement.
“A free, opt-in weekly red bin collection will help parents with small children manage disposal of nappies as well as larger households with bigger volumes of waste.”
Labor Councillor Mat Howard, who led the design and implementation of food recycling, said the additional support will help lock-in their efforts for environmental reform.
“While the vast majority of households have successfully made the transition to food recycling and the carbon emissions reduction has exceeded our expectations, the roll-out has demonstrated that some residents are still finding the change challenging.
“That’s why we are proposing this additional support to help all local people in making this transition.”
Council officers estimate that if 15 per cent of households take up this new, opt-in service, the cost would be approximately $1 million per annum.
Though residents have been advised that the opt-in service will be free, some locals have said the costs will reappear elsewhere.
“We ratepayers will be paying one way or another!” one wrote on Facebook.