More garbage truck woes for city

Garbage trucks are illegally reversing up Hosier Lane late at night and in the early hours of almost every morning according to one CBD resident who said he has been asking council to resolve the issue since last May.

Mark Tidy lives in an apartment above Hosier Lane. He said multiple trucks reverse up the lane most nights between 11pm and 5am.

“I have had to endure months of sleepless nights with reversing sirens blaring outside my bedroom window at 2am, 3am, 4am etc,” Mr Tidy said.

“I have provided exact details of when this has been occurring and in most cases the waste collection company whose vehicles they belong to.”

Hosier Lane is a one-way street which exits onto Flinders Street, where Mr Tidy said the trucks enter and reverse from.

“Despite this activity being illegal and dangerous, as I have pointed out to the City of Melbourne (CoM), there has been no action taken to combat this and hence resolve the ongoing issue of noise generated by the reversing sirens,” Mr Tidy said.

“By their inaction, CoM clearly considers this activity acceptable despite being an unsafe work practice.”

“There was an incident in Brisbane last year where a homeless man was killed by a reversing garbage truck in the early hours of the morning while he was sleeping. I have pointed this out to City of Melbourne.”

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said council had advised two waste companies of noise complaints in the area “which does not have restricted hours for waste collection”.

Garbage trucks were deemed a serious issue by Lord Mayor Sally Capp in October 2018, after residents lobbied the council to clean up the system.

About 40 different waste collection companies are licensed to pick up garbage in the city, as well as CoM-owned company Citywide.

The system has resulted in a convoluted pick up web around the city, with trucks criss-crossing and shadowing each other down streets that one truck could manage.

Mr Tidy said Citywide regularly reverse up Hosier Lane and collect garbage at varying times between 3am and 6am, but that in response to complaints the CoM merely stated Citywide trucks do not collect garbage prior to 6am. 

He said that the council also told him that enforcing road rules regarding moving vehicles is the responsibility of Victoria Police, but that they didn’t address the unsafe work practice issue.

Amongst work safe statements and studies on reversing and safety, Mr Tidy cites The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 which states: “A council has a duty to remedy as far as is reasonably possible all nuisances existing in its municipal district.”

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