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Search for verge side collection contractor in Geraldton to continue following council vote despite opposition

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
The City of Greater Geraldton will keep trying to search for a verge side rubbish collection contractor despite a lack of interest.
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton will keep trying to search for a verge side rubbish collection contractor despite a lack of interest. Credit: David Baylis/Community News

The mission to revive a verge side collection service for Geraldton goes on after City councillors voted to continue the search for a contractor.

The motion for the program to go out for tender again was not supported unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting, with some City of Greater Geraldton councillors arguing there was a lack of details, and another opposing the concept in general.

The program was set to return after being scrapped in 2016, but difficulty finding a contractor has held it back after it was allocated $650,000 in the 2022-23 budget.

After struggles finding a deal within that budget, the $650,000 will be carried over with potentially more funds to be added in the upcoming 2023-24 budget.

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Mayor Shane Van Styn said the program was a top issue for the public, and locals would be “devastated” if it was abandoned.

“We need to send a message that this is happening,” Mr Van Styn said.

Geraldton Civic Centre.
Camera IconGeraldton Civic Centre. Credit: Supplied

The motion passed did have amendments made by the mayor, which included waiving fees for those who put mattresses and bulky furniture in the tip during the verge side collection period, as he said there would be confusion as the program began.

Deputy Mayor Jerry Clune said he opposed verge side collection as a concept, as it should be a household’s responsibility to deal with its own bulk waste.

“A household who doesn’t have a lot of rubbish, which is being frugal, is subsidising the one who is messy and creates a lot of rubbish, so I don’t think it’s a very fair system and it doesn’t encourage people to not create waste,” he said.

Cr Michael Reymond said there were several details, such as the total amount of waste to be collected, that still should be ironed out before being approved.

“It will cost a lot of money and there’s too many unknowns,” he said.

Cr Tarleah Thomas said the program would clear waste which would otherwise potentially be a hazard in the event of a disaster such as a cyclone.

“Just a couple of years ago with cyclone Seroja, we really dodged a bullet with the amount of stuff which could have caused the city a huge amount grief with it flying around,” she said.

The motion passed eight votes to four.

The program will go out for tender again from April to September.

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