“Slap in the face”: Local residents angered by Inner West Council’s response to stinking bins

“Slap in the face”: Local residents angered by Inner West Council’s response to stinking bins
Image: Bins have been left overflowing in Sydney's inner west. Image: Facebook



Residents of Sydney’s inner west have been left infuriated as the local council shares tips on social media on how to reduce nasty bin odours after rubbish collections were significantly reduced.

Inner West Council has been suggesting that locals 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.”

“Layer food in outdoor bin with grass or leaves to create a barrier to pests.”

The post has seemingly since been deleted after local residents slammed the council in the comment section, with one commenting “When you trip over the bins in the street, bins not collected, rubbish strewn everywhere – ie food waste dropped on the street when the bins are collected, that’s hardly the fault of the homeowners.”
Local residents have been frustrated for some time about the changes to the bin collection system. Complaints have increased as maggots are starting to show.
Maggots are appearing in Inner West residents’ rubbish bins. Image: Facebook

In October, the Inner West Council announced an overhaul of its waste services in a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill. Red bin pick ups for general waste were reduced to fortnightly, alongside other recycling services.

Council also provided residents with a small kitchen caddy and compostable bin liners and told to use their green bins, to be emptied weekly, for compostable waste including garden clippings and food scraps.

Within the first two months of the initiative, 2,780 tonnes of landfill were collectively diverted to compost, the council claims.

But residents have still reported extreme delays in pick ups. Bins have been left overflowing on the streets, and maggots are appearing.

The council has continued to share videos on their social media pages on handling odours through the holiday season, especially as temperatures spike.

Such tips include placing seafood scraps in bags and storing them in the freezer until pick up day.

“Enough is enough!” one user commented. “Maggots all over our kitchen bench this morning. We will not continue with this unhygienic practice! Everything is going back into the red bin and we will be putting it out for collection on a weekly basis. I urge all residents to do the same.”
“Great for the environment bad for the house and bins. We have little flies everywhere and maggots develop in the large green bin whilst you wait for pick up. Doesn’t work in a hot summer!” another wrote.
One resident described the videos as a “slap in the face”, saying “All for helping with waste & the environment but these videos are a bit of a slap in the face to residents who have their bin collections constantly late or missed. Less time & money on promotional videos & more on making sure inner west council actually delivers the correct service at the right time.

The controversial initiative by the Inner West Council follows the New South Wales government’s instruction to all councils to introduce food recycling by 2030.

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