Wollongong rubbish collections should continue: council

Council staff recommend that Wollongong's controversial household clean-up service continue, despite concerns the program has caused a proliferation of illegal dumping in the city's streets.

In a report to next week's council meeting, staff say residents need "more time to adjust" to the rubbish pick-up service, which was introduced in 2010, and recommend it stay in place until at least June 2016.

In February, councillors unanimously supported Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery's calls for a review, after he said it was "feral" and "out of control".

The free on-call pick-ups were introduced by council administrators, replacing the previous annual clean-ups offered to all residents in one area at the same time.

Now, ratepayers can book the clean-up services twice a year and must place household rubbish inside a two-square-metre area on the kerb the day before pick-up.

In proposing the review, Cr Bradbery said this system had posed problems since the beginning of his term as lord mayor, saying it meant messy piles of building waste, mattresses, e-waste and old lounge chairs were left out on the streets for weeks.

Council staff found there were 534 reports of people not adhering to the rules with 26,700 pick-ups booked across the city in 2012-13, representing a 2 per cent non-compliance rate.

To stop this misuse, the council has introduced some small changes to the program to make sure waste is more quickly removed and residents are better educated.

Now, residents with "non-conforming stockpiles" will be given an immediate notice in their letterbox, while brochures, booklets and signage about the pick-up service will be co-ordinated by Remondis rather than the council.

There are also back-up collection trucks available to eliminate the amount of waste left out on the streets for long periods.

Due to these changes, council staff recommended the twice-yearly pick-ups be continued.

They said the community's response to these changes could be reviewed in another two years to "gauge compliance levels and the public perception of the cleanliness of Wollongong streets".

The cost of council officers preparing the rubbish service report, which is due to be debated by councillors on Monday, was $3500.

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