Local waste collectors go back to work

THE collection of household rubbish resumed around the region yesterday after grinding to a halt earlier in the week following Transpacific Cleanaway’s decision to take its national fleet of 2800 trucks off the road.

For Tamworth Regional Council residents, though, it will still be several days before services return to normal and council clears the backlog of bins waiting to be emptied.

Transpacific, Australia’s largest waste management firm and the contractor to a number of councils around the region, grounded its fleet on Wednesday for a safety audit after one of its trucks smashed into three stationary cars at a busy intersection in Adelaide on Monday, killing two people.

Yesterday, local councils were told rubbish collections would resume after the local fleet was given a safety clearance to return to service.

Tamworth Regional Council waste services manager Jon Beckett said Transpacific Cleanaway’s local vehicles were back on the road at 2pm yesterday and work had started on getting the service back on schedule.

Residents of North Tamworth, Forest Hills, Daruka, Moore Creek, Oxley Vale, Hallsville and Attunga whose bins are scheduled for collection this morning were advised to put them out as usual.

“Cleanaway, Challenge Recycling and council are working together to get services back on schedule by Monday 

morning,” Mr Beckett said. 

Red-lidded bins were due to be collected first for residents who usually receive a service Wednesday and Thursday, but all bins will be serviced. 

“Please leave all bins out for collection as usual, and only bring them in when they have been emptied,” Mr Beckett said. 

“From (today) onwards, Cleanaway will commence working on Thursday’s usual collection, and will work over the weekend to catch up by Monday.”

To enable collections to return to their usual schedule as quickly as possible, council has also allowed collections to start from an earlier 5am until Monday, and will be operating its Forest Rd site over an extended daily period to permit receival of more loads of waste from the contractor.

“We are also giving residents in those areas affected by the delayed collection this week the option of disposing of waste (red lid) and green waste (green lid) free of charge at their nearest, open waste management facility until Monday,” Mr Beckett said.

In the Armidale Dumaresq area, waste collection services resumed at 8am yesterday, while Moree Plains, late yesterday was still waiting for the all-clear.

Mayor Katrina Humphries vowed, though, they would start clearing the backlog as soon as they could.

“Even if the all-clear comes in the middle of the night, we’ll get those trucks back out on the road,” she said.

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