From the Newsroom

A retired GP says overflowing bins like this one at Witonga Drive boat ramp, Yamba, are not emptied regularly. Council said bins in CBDs, Memorial Parks, District and Regional Parks are emptied daily. Image: contributed

Overflowing public bins – a health hazard

Rodney Stevens

A retired GP who lives in the Lower Clarence says public bins are increasingly overflowing in recreational areas across the Valley which could pose a health hazard.
The woman, who regularly walks her dog around Yamba said she reported to council on three occasions over the past three weeks that the bin at the Witonga Drive boat ramp was overflowing.
“Similar issues occur with the Turners Beach car parks bins, the Park Avenue dog park bins and the Moby Dick boat ramp bins,” she said.

Locals have also told the CV Independent bins in Grafton’s Market Square are often overflowing or not utilised, with regular reports of rubbish scattering around the park.
The woman asked what visitors to the area, ratepayers and residents would think about a basic council responsibility that is not being done adequately.

“We could really look at this as a public health issue given the flies that are attracted to the disgusting smells,” she said.
A Clarence Valley Council spokesperson said the bins are emptied by a combination of Councils Open Spaces Team and an external waste contractor in parks and reserves on a schedule based on the park’s usage and location.

“Busy and formal locations around the CBDs, Memorial Parks, District and Regional Parks are emptied daily,” the spokesperson said.
“Local parks, sports grounds and some roadside bins are emptied once or twice per week depending on use (sports fields) and park bookings.”
Additional facilities have been implemented in Yamba to cope with the demand.

“Our Open Spaces team have installed four Big Belly solar powered compacting bins in Yamba to help with holiday volume,” the spokesperson said.
“There are 311 registered waste collection points fixed permanently throughout the Clarence Valley Council Local Government area.
“Council also provides bins for sporting and community run function that add to the already busy week. “Clarence Valley Council has two compactors to service all the collection point generally with a single operator, due to operational costs.”

Increasingly, council is seeing more household rubbish being dumped in public bins, exacerbating the issue. “Clarence Valley Council’s bin service is adequate, the major problem is household rubbish and the bulky pizza boxes and burger/chip containers for example not being put in the bin properly, making the bins appear to be overflowing when they are in fact quite empty,” the spokesperson said.

“Increasing the bin openings to take the bulkier items only increases the likelihood of large bag household rubbish to be put into the bins, this has increased largely, due to the cost of living, and the increase of caravan and motorhomes using Council bins to drop off large bulky volumes of rubbish. “Clarence Valley Council has received complaints, and these are actioned as soon as possible.”