Thursday, December 12, 2019

Council's "green waste" weekend ahead

DERWENT Valley residents and ratepayers will have free access to the Peppermint Hill tip site this weekend for the disposal of green waste.

The one-off opportunity comes a year after it was first proposed that local residents be able to deposit their green waste free-of-charge, but this failed to win the support of a majority of councillors.

Councillor Paul Belcher proposed at the December 2018 council meeting that the council should remove its fees for green waste, scrap metal, clean e-waste and whitegoods. This was opposed by councillors Luke Browning, Rachel Power, Anne Salt and Julie Triffett, and failed to pass.

Cr Ben Shaw proposed a similar motion the following month, which passed with the support of councillors Belcher, Browning, Cosgrove and Triffett, but did not include free disposal of green waste. Cr Anne Salt voted against the motion and councillors Martyn Evans and Rachel Power were absent.

Cr Belcher said at the time that he was happy to support the motion but felt it did not go far enough. "I think we should still be offering free green waste [disposal], we use it down on the tip face so it saves us money from bringing in gravel to cover the tip face and in the long run there could be an income where we sell off garden mulch," he said.

Last month Cr Shaw returned with a new proposal for an annual "free green waste weekend" at the Peppermint Hill site. "Due to the early start to the fire season this year ... I recommend that we conduct a free green waste weekend to assist our residents in their bushfire preparation," Cr Shaw said at last month's meeting.

"We live in a highly susceptible area to bushfire activity and spring is when everything starts to grow and the fuel starts to dry out. This is also the time council sends out Abatement Notices to property owners. By providing a free green waste weekend we are encouraging everyone to play their part in making the Derwent Valley community safer as we move into the high risk period," he said.

"The main basis of this motion to be continued annually is that I feel we should be encouraging property owners to clean up and dispose of green waste in the appropriate way. I believe costs associated with this motion would be offset by reducing the potential for bushfire incidents, as well  as the time undertaken by staff to go back to non-conforming property owners who do not abide by the Abatement Notices and it’s also a great thing to do to tidy up our region."

The motion received the unanimous support of the councillors present, leading to the council offering a free green waste weekend at the Peppermint Hill tip for all Derwent Valley residents this weekend,  December 14-15.

The council encourages residents to take the opportunity to clear branches and overgrowth around their properties and help to reduce the fire risk to their properties as we enter into the warmer months. Tree trunks should be less than 30cm across and be less than 2m in length for safety. Green waste should be separate from other waste in the load as usual tip fees and tickets will apply to other waste.

People taking up this offer will need to provide evidence of their residency in the Derwent Valley municipality. The offer does not apply at the National Park waste transfer station.

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