Kempsey Shire Council has moved to reassure households that their three-bin kerbside collections will continue as normal, while reminding residents that the new laws around social-distancing do not list a household clean-up as an essential action.
Despite Government requests that Australians stay at home while the coronavirus pandemic lasts, Council have experienced a surge in activity at waste management centres comparable to the Christmas holiday season rush.
The State Government on Monday issued guidelines clarifying when it is OK to leave the house and residents face fines of up to $11,000 if they break the rules.
“Do not come to the waste facilities unless you absolutely have to,” said Kempsey Shire Council General Manager, Craig Milburn.
“We are trying to protect our staff and keep waste services operating to the public, but if large numbers of public visitation continues then this may need to be re-evaluated.”
Council’s waste management facilities remain open for essential visits only, limited to properties with no kerbside waste collection service and the disposal of daily waste that would otherwise create a health concern. No green waste or bulky household rubbish should be disposed of at this time.
Kerbside bin collection should continue as usual for the foreseeable future. Council’s contractor, Cleanaway, are confident there will be no service interruptions due to the measures that have been put in place, combined with back up resources.
“Council are taking all necessary steps to ensure the continued provision of essential services,” said Mr Milburn.
“For the community to continue a normal life, key services like bin collections have to be maintained.”
Other changes have been made to Council’s waste management processes at the Waste Management Centre in the interests of the safety of staff and the community.
Council’s Waste Management Centre on Crescent Head Road, South Kempsey remains open, though the ReUse Shop has been closed until further notice. The Waste Transfer Stations in South West Rocks, Stuarts Point and Bellbrook also remain open.
The community is advised that cash payments at these facilities are not being accepted, instead zero-touch options such as tap-to-pay must be used. Staff have also put measures in place such as additional cleaning of offices and EFTPOS machines and keeping a 1.5 metre distance from customers.
The mobile Community Recycling Centre Trailers scheduled to visit towns and villages across the shire have also been cancelled until further notice.