Mitchell Shire Council will no longer offer free green waste drop-offs in November, blaming new State Government requirements which prevent stockpiling combustible materials.

Residents were previously able to visit council’s waste and resource recovery centres for at no charge on weekends throughout November to dispose of their green waste ahead of the start of fire season.

Instead, ratepayers will now receive two additional resource recovery centre vouchers with their rates notices, bringing the total amount of vouchers to five each year.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said the changed regulations were due to the fire risk posed by large volumes of green waste.

“This means council has limits on the amount of green waste it can store on current resource recovery centre sites at one time,” he said.

“As a result of this state-wide change, council can no longer offer the free green waste drop off program in November as this resulted in a large amount of green waste during this period, creating large stockpiles.”

Residents can use their resource recovery centre vouchers to dispose of any waste they have, including green waste, at any time.

The council encouraged renters to contact their landlords to see if they can access the vouchers, which would be sent to property owners with their rates notices.

Cr Chisholm said the changes gave residents in high fire-risk areas much more flexibility in how and when they used their vouchers as part of their seasonal fire prevention preparations.

“We are already upgrading Seymour Resource Recovery Centre and have budgeted in 2019-2020 – likewise at Wallan Resource Recovery Centre,” he said.

On a Mitchell Shire Council Facebook post announcing the changes, several people asked about the possibility of a green waste collection service – a service offered in many other councils.

The North Central Review asked council whether it has considered a green waste collection service and whether the decision was made by council officers or councillors. Council did not respond to either question.

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