Waste Management in Frankston- letter to the Mayor

The following is not shed or woodworking related. If not interested, there is no need to read further.

A letter I sent to the Mayor of Frankston 3 days ago, and included the standard council contact, the local MP, the Frankston Leader, and the Herald Sun. I am yet to get a response from any of them. The rubbish remains (although the horrific mess in Cadles Road has quickly vanished- coincidence? That’s what you get putting higher density cheaper housing in outer suburbs- a slum.)

Dear Mayor Cunial

I wish to express my level of disappointment in how rubbish has been managed in Frankston in recent times.

The first step towards the current mess that is Frankston City was the closure of the sorting station off Ballarto Road. I understand the necessity of the closure of this facility, but given how well it was running, the way you could drop off different types of materials so they were presorted before processing was excellent, and subsequent issues have shown how much this now represents a keen loss to the residents.

A new tip then opened under licence, run by a private firm. Not only overpriced, run by rude gate staff, unable to take delivery of basic waste types such as polystyrene but was also a return to an archaic form of tip where you drive over rough, corrugated dirt, risking puncture and damage to then have to toss your trash out on the ground in an unmanaged, uncontrolled way. Fortunately, this facility was shut down, and we looked forward to a return to decent tip management.

This has not eventuated, and we have been left with no ability to dispose of rubbish without driving to a tip outside of the Frankston region.

But what of the subsidised rubbish collection where we could organise up to a 2 cubic metre collection for a cheap $50? For some poorly thought-out reason, it was determined that residents could only do this if they kept the rubbish on their property and not use the nature strip. May I remind the council that we are at the end of 10 years of drought, and may of us no longer have grassed areas at the front of our property, choosing to replace grass with drought-resistant gardens. (Before the annual hard rubbish collection, in the middle of the drought, we were allowed to place items on the naturestrip and organise a collection for free).

I contacted the council by phone, and was told my only options were to block my driveway until the council arranged a pickup, or to ask my neighbours if they minded me placing my 2 cubic metres of trash in their yard. Not only are they in the same situation of having replaced grass with drought-resistant gardens, but how on earth the council thought that was something reasonable to request is beyond me. I ended up paying full price for a skip instead where I could contain the trash, and control the pickup time (and not have the drive blocked for more than a single day).

Which brings me to the current situation. I have not been south of Carrum Downs to see what the rest of the city looks like, but certainly in my local area we are sinking into a quagmire of trash. I cannot fathom what the council was thinking when they decided to arrange the hard rubbish collection to happen so late in the year. At a time when we should be presenting the area in its best light, with visitors admiring our Christmas light displays, we have piles of trash illuminated in flashing multicolour.

It has been there for weeks, spread and scattered across the ground, being blown around the neighbourhood, picked over by scavengers (curb burglars) and with non-locals driving in and dropping off their additional piles (and yes, I have seen this being done, and that situation is worsened the longer the opportunity is presented). The council should know by now that rubbish will always be put out earlier than the 2 days specified. Some individuals have done so 2-4+ weeks early, with no council intervention apparent. This is potentially exasperated due to a lack of tip facility, and trash piles seem much larger this year. The sight on Cadles Road has to be seen to be believed, with trash spread over 20-30 square metres, and it has been that way for weeks (without exaggeration).

It is now the 18th of December. Collection was meant to be during the week starting the 12th (and has been further delayed without notification) which was already way too late in the year, too close to Christmas. If not picked up in the next day or so, it will be there on Christmas Day when many have interstate and international visitors. I am embarrased having my rubbish still sitting on my naturestrip, with my neighbours being left having to tolerate it.

The collection used to be in November, which was a good time for the spring cleanout. Allowing the city to be covered in crap during the festive season is unacceptable. The Carrum Downs Christmas festival is tomorrow night. This place, that now looks like a lower class trailer park will have its unmentionables illuminated by the light of fireworks for all to see and ‘enjoy’. Please, can we have the neighbourhood cleaned up as soon as possible, and in the next few days, and please, please, never arrange a hard rubbish collection this late in the year again. Finally, it is LONG overdue for Frankston to have a council-run facility reestablished to replace the one taken away. Properly managing the city, whch includes waste management, is what we pay rates for. It is about time we got our money’s worth.

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