Sydney councillor responds to local outrage over overflowing bins and maggots
by JASMINE SIMMONS
As residents throughout Sydney express their outrage with ongoing rubbish collection issues, a local councillor is calling on the public to push back against the outsourcing of rubbish collection.
Councillor Linda Scott, a Labor councillor on the City of Sydney Council, and former Deputy Lord Mayor, has started a petition in hopes of changing the Sydney rubbish collection process.
The petition follows the Council’s decision to privatise waste collection, where Cr Scott was the only member on the council to vote against the waste collection’s outsourcing.
“When the City moved to outsource our remaining waste collection last term of council, I was the only councillor to oppose this,” Cr Scott told City Hub.
“As the only councillor who voted against privatisation of the council’s waste collection, I’m devastated to see my warnings coming true.”
Cr Scott fears that the current bin-related issues will continue to negatively affect the health and wellbeing of residents.
Tensions have risen across Sydney following recent changes to bin collection schedules. Delays in rubbish collections have resulted in overflowing of waste, and maggots, rats and flies infesting the local resident bins.
“Collections are being missed by over 4 weeks! This is causing overflowing rubbish, pollution, rubbish dumping and vermin infestations,” stated Cr Scott on her webpage.
“Sydney’s streets are filthy, and our residents are rightly calling for help in what is now a rat and maggot infested public health disaster.”
Calls for mayoral change
Cr Scott is calling for the help of Lord Mayor Clover Moore to address the city’s rubbish crisis before it escalates even further.
“Clover Moore has undoubtedly changed the face of Sydney and done some good, but after 44 years in office – having been elected when Malcolm Fraser was still the Prime Minister – she simply can’t keep pace with what’s needed of Sydney’s Lord Mayor in 2024,” said Cr Scott.
The councillor, along with local residents, has expressed her concerns on Facebook, sharing images from residents in Erskineville and Alexandria of the overflowing rubbish and maggots infesting the bins.
“Happy New Year’s Day City of Sydney (except for the Liberals and Lord Mayor Clover Moore – who outsourced the City’s rubbish collection!),” stated Clr Scott on her Facebook page.
“It’s time for change in 2024!”
Another resident also posted in outrage to Facebook, addressing Clover Moore and her decision to outsource waste.
“We haven’t had regular collections in our lane for weeks and there’s been problems since you outsourced the services,” said the local Facebook user.
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney told City Hub that “It’s a very busy time for waste collection crews and they’re working hard to continue to collect residential bins, booked bulky pick-ups and illegal dumps across the local area throughout the holiday season.”
“Every week we empty around 100,000 bins and only a small proportion are reported as a missed service on any typical day.”
They said, “Occasionally, bins or booked pick-ups may be missed on allocated collection days. We aim to collect any reported missed bins within two business days. We’re not aware of bins that were recently reported as missed being left uncollected for extended periods.”
The mayor’s decision to outsource household garbage collection in 2019 was immediately met with resistance.
On the morning of November 13, 2019, waste service workers walked off the job in response to management’s refusal to consult with them over a proposal to outsource household garbage collection to a private contractor without an open tender process.
“Workers are concerned by this plan which would see a private contractor take over all household garbage collection across the city without an open and transparent tender process or expressions of interest,” United Services Union general secretary Graeme Kelly OAM said at the time.
“Workers have spent weeks seeking a meeting with management to discuss this proposal, and when it finally took place they were simply told their questions would not be answered and no negotiation would be entered into,” he continued.
“Waste services workers feel they have been left with no choice but to stop work in an effort to force the City of Sydney to undertake genuine consultation with them.”
The decision caused the City of Sydney workforce a great deal of angst and uncertainty and has continued to garner criticism as waste is left on the streets.