Lord Mayor Sally Capp has told CBD residents she is working on a solution to the convoys of garbage trucks which rampage through the city each night.
The City of Melbourne currently licences about 40 different waste collection companies which have private collection arrangements with local businesses.
Speaking at Residents 3000’s annual general meeting on September 6, Cr Capp congratulated local residents who had elevated the matter into an election issue.
“Waste management. You introduced it to me. I’m so into it,” she said.
“Well, didn’t we open a can of worms with this one? There is no doubt that the City of Melbourne is aware of the issue,” she said.
“We’re up to more than 36 different waste companies barrelling around our city with their trucks.”
“I have stood in alleyways and watched truck after truck come down to collect different coloured bins when one truck could come down and collect all of them.”
But, the Lord Mayor said, while the problem was clear enough, the solution was wrapped up in legal complexities.
“What I have learned over the last 106 days [since becoming Lord Mayor] is a lot about the legalities that govern the way in which waste collection must work within the City of Melbourne, pursuant to legislation,” she said.
“I’ve been up to see the relevant minister, Marlene Kairouz, and I’ve met with the senior officials of her team. They are fully supportive of finding a way through.”
“We’ve had to seek legal advice about what we’re able to do under the Act. And, most importantly, what we’ve realised is that we actually haven’t been collecting the data on how many waste-collection-truck-trips happen around the city – when they happen, where they happen, what time they happen.”
“So our engineering team has been out to all of the agencies to start collecting that data, because we need that data to build our case for changing either the legislation, the regulations or mounting some sort of legal position on how we can move forward either by reducing the number of collection agencies through a tender process or dividing the city into regions and having, after a tender process, an allocated collection agency for those precincts.”
“Those really are the two outcomes that we are working towards,” Cr Capp said.
“I wish it could happen more quickly but, due to some of those constraints, it can’t.”
“I’m learning to be a little bit patient, but I’m push, push, pushing this item along and we’ve certainly made sure that everyone who needs to know about this issue, who can help us with the solution, is involved in the process.”
Cr Capp said she would report back via Residents 3000 immediately a solution was found.