Bendigo council could make green bin opt out easier

NEW ARRIVAL: Bendigo council rolled out its new organic waste bins in July and stated the service in September. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
NEW ARRIVAL: Bendigo council rolled out its new organic waste bins in July and stated the service in September. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

RelatedDo Bendigo's green bins violate human rights?

Council will consider removing a controversial obligation on those wishing to opt out of its new green bin scheme. 

The City of Greater Bendigo will consider a report which recommends changing the requirements for residents to sign a statutory declaration to gain an organics exemption at next Wednesday’s council meeting.

Council has released a statement saying the proposed change is being considered because the process of obtaining a statutory declaration has proven difficult for residents.

The report recommends the introduction of a new application form which would be signed by residents as part of the exemption application process. 

If the recommendation is passed by council those applying for an exemption from the organics service will still be required to pass an inspection of the measures they have in place at their property to deal with their organic waste.

The report to the council also notes that work is underway to identify opportunities for further growth of the organics scheme. 

The report says the city will continue to explore other initiatives and undertake community education to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

Since commencing in early September approximately 300 tonnes of organic waste has been collected each week and turned into compost for re-use on parks and gardens. 

Earlier this year an Eaglehawk woman said she believed council had violated her rights with the roll out of its new organic waste bin – and made an appeal to two state watchdogs to back her claims. 

'BULLIED': Sherryn Taylor says council is discriminating against her and other people with disabilities with its new organic bin. Picture: DARREN HOWE

'BULLIED': Sherryn Taylor says council is discriminating against her and other people with disabilities with its new organic bin. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Sherryn Taylor lodged complaints against the City of Greater Bendigo with both the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Ombudsman for discrimination against the disabled and the elderly. 

Ms Taylor applied for a green bin exemption on the grounds she composts her waste and has chooks. 

She was successful, but after passing the council inspection she was asked to sign a statutory declaration that she would not put any organic waste into her general wheelie bin. Ms Taylor refused.

The mother of two injured her back in a workplace accident in 2012 and is now on a disability pension.