Little Oxford Street used as ‘dumping ground’

Little Oxford Street used as ‘dumping ground’


Businesses operating near a neglected Surry Hills side street have urged city residents to kick the councils ‘Live Lanes’ project back into gear.

Little Oxford Street – once praised among Surry Hills locals for its cultural and artistic significance – now resembles a rubbish tip as bars, clubs and cafes on Oxford Street use the lane as a rubbish dumping ground.

The council launched ‘Live Lanes’ early last year, devoting $4.4 million to restore the vibrancy of some of Sydney’s cultural hubs, but while sections of Oxford Street were recognised as an area of concern, Little Oxford lane was neglected.

Brian Noad of the Nichols Street Community Group said: “It’s a back lane waiting to be transformed [and] Taylor Square residents are sick of their complaints to City Council being ignored.”

“Everyone is just dumping their filth there,” an Oxford Street cafe owner told The City News. “Oxford Street should be known for it’s artsy culture, not as a [rubbish] tip.”

“Because it hasn’t been cleaned up in so long, people think it’s ok to use the place as a dumping ground,” he said.

Because commercial waste bins in Oxford Street are serviced by private contractors the City of Sydney Council does not have a responsibility to remove waste from the area.

But a Council spokesperson, Josh Mackenzie, said: “The City’s environmental health officers will contact any offending shops and instruct them to store their waste in appropriate collection bins.”

Mr Mackenzie did not rule out council paying attention to the laneway in the future in terms of the ‘Live Lanes’ project, but said a restoration to the lane would need to be a partnership between council and the business and arts community. “It’s not just council responsibility,” he said.

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