Access restrictions on local refuse tips have been lifted following complaints from residents.
In the past few weeks, residents have been turned away from the Scenic Rim Regional Council Waste Transfer Stations unless they were carrying ‘essential rubbish’.
While there appeared to be no definite classification on what was ‘essential’ rubbish as opposed to ‘non essential’ rubbish, it seems that only perishable waste was permitted to be disposed of by entry into the refuse tip.
In a media statement released on April 1, Council advised that: “With the latest advice from the Queensland Government banning all non-essential travel, please remember that cleaning up around the house and bringing your waste to our facilities is not considered essential. We ask that you please take this seriously when making the decision to leave your home or not.
“Security and/or traffic control will be deployed at each waste transfer station to ensure appropriate social distancing.”
After receiving several complaints from readers about the new restrictions, the Fassifern Guardian contacted the Council to ask why a trip to the supermarket could not be combined with a trip to the transfer station to drop off all types of rubbish and hence meet the intent of the travel restrictions.
As one of our readers noted: “As the new regulation at the transfer stations isn’t about what rubbish you have on board but on reducing non-essential travel, so why can’t people combine their trip into town for groceries with a stop at the tip?
“There are social distancing measures in place at the tip and with so much more time at home, people are doing shed and yard clean-ups.
“There’s a lot of long grass in paddocks and not much rain in sight before Winter. I guess we can expect another bad fire season so why aren’t we encouraging people to combine their trip to town for groceries with a stop at the tip?”
Council’s response to our queries took the form of an apology for the confusion residents may have experienced in bringing their waste to Council’s transfer stations.
“Council’s transfer stations remain open to Scenic Rim residents for all waste disposal, however in line with the Queensland Government's plea banning non-essential travel, Council asks that residents consider this before making their trip,” a Council spokesperson said.
“At no time does Council expect residents or businesses to risk their health and well-being by storing perishable waste or other waste that greatly impacts them at home or work.”
And on a visit to the Boonah waste transfer station late last week, we found that there are no longer officers stationed at the entry point to turn away residents who do not have ‘essential’ waste on board