David Flower fronted up to Tenterfield waste transfer station on Sunday with a cardboard box of scrunched up newspaper that had been used for packing. For the privilege of leaving it at the tip he was charged $1.50, including GST (goods and services tax).
“Pensioners with genuine rubbish disposal needs don’t come anywhere near affording the new charges,” Mr Flower said.
“This is such a backward step. The streets are going to become littered with rubbish because no-one wants to take it to the tip.”
While he appreciates the council is in a financial bind needing to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards, Mr Flower said the system he observed in Devon County Council was much more efficient with no charges for taking rubbish to a tip and lots of information on recycling, and ratepayers wanting to do the right thing.
“More attention needs to be paid to how local people are dealing with their rubbish,” he said.
Several ratepayers made a beeline to the Tenterfield Star office after dropping off rubbish at the waste transfer station, riled at having to pay a fee. Rural resident Tom Quealy of Mt McKenzie was one of them, stunned at being asked to pay for dropping off his normal weekly domestic waste on Monday.
“They’re charging us for it in our rates, now we pay to take it to the tip and they want us to sort it as well. We’re getting a double penalty for being rural residents.”
Mr Quealy said when he lived outside Stanthorpe the transfer stations were locked up but all rural residents had a key.
“I can understand charging for commercial waste but not for a bag of domestic rubbish. People are going to start dumping it on the side of the road,” he said.
Mr Quealy took his complaint to the council chambers but was advised to write a letter to the general manager.
The lack of notification has upset many Tenterfield residents, with those delaying their trip to the tip from Saturday to Sunday paying the price.