THE best mango season for years may delight local families and have them reaching for their blenders, but the large crop from backyard trees is causing havoc for councils’ waste collection services.
During the past few days, Lismore Council was unable to empty at least six green organic wheelie bins because they were weighed down by discarded mangoes and were too heavy to lift into the garbage truck.
“A wheelie bin full of mangoes can weigh over 150 kilograms and there is a limit on household bins of 80kg, which includes the weight of the bin,” Lismore Council’s waste and water education officer Kevin Trustum said.
The problem, he said, was the mechanical arm that lifted the bins from the kerb was not strong enough to lift the bins full of excess mangos in one go.
“Residents with large numbers of mangoes should work with neighbours and family and friends to borrow space in their organic bins,” Mr Trustum said.
He said while it was important to recycle unwanted mangoes into compost, people needed to be careful not to exceed weight limits.
“If their bins are too heavy, they will be rejected and then the resident has the problem of trying to dispose of the waste themselves.”
Richmond Hill farmer Alf Livotto, who has a dozen mango trees heavily laden with ripe fruit on his property wasn’t surprised to hear about the problem of removing the unwanted fruit.
“This is the best year for mangoes for about four years. If you get rain when the trees are in flower, you can forget about it, but this year it’s been dry,” he said.
The perfect conditions had led to an abundance of the fruit, with prices now cheaper than they had been for years.
Mr Livotto, who confesses to enjoying sinking his teeth into a cool mango, said even the stringy variety found on his property are enjoyable to eat.
His solution to the excessive mango supply – apart from putting a couple in the fridge every day – is to allow neighbours and passersby to pick as much of the fruit as they want.
The rest are simply left to fall on the ground, which are quickly eaten by his cows.
“Every time one drops the cows have got them,” he said.
“I’ve also heard the cows get pissed on the rotting ones.”