Keep city clean or leave: Mayor Gordon Bradbery

Mayor Gordon Bradbery
Mayor Gordon Bradbery

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery suggested residents should "love it or leave it" when it comes to dumping rubbish around the city.

Cr Bradbery's passionate speech came during a discussion over a review of the twice-yearly rubbish pick-ups council has offered since 2010.

The review was one Cr Bradbery called for in February this year, saying the system led to piles of waste left out on the streets for weeks.

At the time he branded residents ‘‘feral’’ over their use of the system and said it was essentially ‘‘illegal dumping in the streets of Wollongong’’.

His feeling for the way rubbish is affecting the amenity of the city had not dimmed in the intervening months.

"Sometimes our residents need to be reminded that if you can't look after our city, then look for somewhere else to live," Cr Bradbery said.

He said he had never come across another part of the world "that is so prone to litter" as Wollongong.

"They may love Wollongong but, we all need to be conscious of what we do with our rubbish," he said.

"Surely our citizens have the ability to pick up stuff and put it in a bin."

Under the  on-call household waste collection service residents can book two clean-ups a year, with all rubbish placed kerbside in a two-square-metre area the day before the pre-arranged collection date.

The review requested by Cr Bradbery  claimed residents needed more time to adjust and recommended it remain in place until at least June 2016.

The review also suggested operational changes - including ‘‘immediate’’ notification to residents as to why their rubbish was non-compliant and an education program - were expected to significantly reduce the amount of misuse.

Several councillors disagreed with the notion that information about the service was inadequate, with Cr Janice Kershaw stating people making phone bookings are given great detail of what was and wasn't allowed to be left on the kerbside.

"It just concerns me that people want to go around and rubbish this city," Cr Kershaw said.

"You drive around other cities and you don't see it. I don't know why this is."

Cr John Dorahy suggested that council include a list of the streets where clean-ups have been booked to allow "bowerbirds" to take items.

General manager David Farmer said it raised privacy issues and added that, because clean-ups coincided with garbage collection, many people already knew in which areas to look.

Cr David Brown moved an amended motion that called for a report on the program to be brought to councillors after 12 months, rather than leaving it until 2016.

He also moved that council officers assess the possibility of offering further rubbish pick-ups at a "recovery cost" to council.

Councillors unanimously passed the motions put forward by Cr Brown.


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