by JASMINE SIMMONS
Residents of Sydney’s inner west have been experiencing ongoing issues with their garbage bins, following a recent council decision to reschedule the red garbage collection.
A previous City Hub article explained that from October 9, the Inner West Council rescheduled the red bin collection to fortnightly. This decision came after expanding the food organic and garden organic (FOGO) waste collection, which aims to halve landfill waste and reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
Instead of throwing food scraps into the red bins, Inner West residents can now dispose of their food waste into the large green bins.
“Expanding food recycling to every home is the single biggest thing our community can do to combat climate change, but we know this transition will be challenging,” stated Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne.
But some Inner West dwellers felt they weren’t properly informed about the decision, and concerns about hygiene have left the community reeling. Residents have taken to social media to express their frustration.
An Inner West resident on Facebook, Joe Franco, has experienced bin-related problems since the beginning of the FOGO rollout.
“The only thing not going into the red bin since they rolled out FOGO is food waste,” Mr Franco told City Hub.
“What waste I have, I recycle in-house myself. So nothing has changed for me except I have the same waste sitting in my bin longer. Others I’ve spoken to are in a similar situation.”
Mr Franco and other residents on Facebook have stated that the waste in the FOGO bins and the buildup of general rubbish in the red bins have contributed to an increase in unwanted pests.
“We have overflowing red bins each fortnight and barely full green bins filled with maggots on a weekly basis,” Mr Franco said.
Another Facebook user wrote to IWC, “I generally support the idea, but my bin is truly rancid. I washed it after the last collection. This week it stinks like the dump and I have a fly plague.”
Additional 240-litre red bins can be requested and delivered by the IWC to households with excess waste. This extra step in the process has added to resident issues, with further social media users experiencing delays in receiving their larger red bins.
One user asked on the IWC Facebook page: “Council, do you have an ETA on when the up-sized red bins will be delivered? I ordered mine 6 weeks ago, hoping I’d have it prior to Christmas…”.
Waitlists for the new bins are reportedly in the thousands.
The council have been active on their official Facebook page responding to a number of community concerns with the FOGO program and red rubbish rescheduling.
The page has provided FOGO tips and advice for residents, such as booking extra red bin collections, using bin protectors, and ensuring the lid of the bins are tightly closed to prevent pests from getting in.