Wollongbar TAFE campus manager Peter Mehan (left) and Ballina Shire Councillor Alan Brown support retaining the Ballina council’s commercial waste collection service.
Wollongbar TAFE campus manager Peter Mehan (left) and Ballina Shire Councillor Alan Brown support retaining the Ballina council’s commercial waste collection service. CATHY ADAMS

Scrapping of rubbish collection

WHEN the campus manager at Wollongbar TAFE, Peter Mehan, found out the Ballina Shire Council had decided to scrap its commercial waste collection service, he wasn’t happy.

“We have nine of their bins and they get collected every Friday,” he said.

“That’s 27 cubic metres of waste a week. The service has always been excellent – it’s reliable and efficient, and it’s 15 per cent cheaper than other providers.

“We’ve also been able to work with the council on various environmental initiatives.

“No one even knows that the council is in this business.

“It needs to be advertised.

“It’s pretty disappointing that the council has just decided to get rid of this service without even asking its customers. How much money does the council want to make? It’s not losing money.”

Last week the council decided to scrap the service ‘as soon as possible’ because it was not profitable.

There are 176 of the front-lift bins across the shire, servicing more than 140 customers.

However, it is estimated the council will make just $16,000 from the service if it continues in 2010/11.

During the debate on whether the service should be stopped, mayor Phillip Silver said he believed commercial waste collection was a ‘proper business for us to be in’.

And Councillor Alan Brown has a plan to revive it.

He’s adamant it can become more profitable, and he plans to lobby his fellow councillors over the coming weeks in an effort to lodge a rescission motion and reverse the decision to scrap the service.

“I have asked our council staff to have another look,” Cr Brown said.

“I just don’t think it’s been thought through properly.

“We’ve got a good business model, it just needs a bit of tweaking. Council is doing a good job with it.

“But the decision to scrap the service just came out of the blue.”

The council’s civil services group manager, John Truman, said the council would need to get a new truck if the service was to continue.



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