Palm pruning costs woman her garbage collection
IS a rule or a rule? Or should commonsense override it?
Pat Burns reckons commonsense should take precedence over a rule.
Mrs Burns, of Beerwah is angry after a waste contractor refused to empty her bin, opting to leave a note rather than do what was necessary to tip it out.
She had left her bin out for collection with a palm frond poking out of the lid.
Mrs Burns said she had cut other fronds into pieces in the past to put them in the bin but it sometimes got too much for her so she left one sticking out.
"I haven't got the strength in my hands. I'm 78 years old," she said.
The Sunshine Coast Council's 16-page guide to waste and recycling says a bin will not be emptied if it is overflowing, too full, or contaminated, and residents should make sure the lid can close.
Mrs Burns said she rang the council and was told the waste contractors would not empty a bin if the lid was not closed properly in case something fell on the road.
"If it was a six foot tree branch, I could have understood it but this was about four or five inches up. It wasn't a big risk," she said.
She was given the option of paying to have a contractor return to empty the bin but declined and said she may as well return the bin, only to be told that she would have to pay for it up until her next rates notice.
Mrs Burns said she could not understand why the waste contractor simply did not push the offending frond down into the bin himself.
"He got out of the cab to stick a note on the bin but he couldn't get out of the cab to push the frond in?"
"These are big, burly men.
"Oh dear, life never ceases to amaze me.
"He might have been frightened to get his hands dirty."
A council spokesman said the incident was being investigated to ascertain why the bin was not emptied but the contractor had followed protocol.
"Council's contractor followed protocol by leaving a notice asking the resident to rectify the problem and to make contact with council to arrange for the truck to return later that day to empty the bin."
The council has since contacted the Daily with a photograph which it says was taken from a camera aboard the rubbish contractor's truck.
A spokesman said it showed a "significant amount" of vegetation protruding from the bin and that the contract had followed procedure in notifying the resident and recording the overflowing bin.
Mrs Burns has since put the frond into her neighbour's rubbish pile, with his permission and plans to watch her next rubbish collection closely.
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What you're saying on Facebook:
BD Mossy: "It's to do with environmental and OHS if they tipped it into truck and it's spills it's a environmental report to council or if the driver get out to push it in the bin and gets hurt then it's a OHS report. Why didn't she just cut it in half the bin has a lid for a reason."
Keith Smith: "'Garbo Palms Off Lady'. 'Garbo and Lady Not Fronds Anymore'. 'Garbo Says Leaf Me Alone'."
Alex Law: "People seem to be missing the key words "given the option of paying to have a contractor return to empty the bin" so there is a financial incentive for the contractor to flee common sense and act like Bin Nazis. Whoever set up the contract on those terms needs to be horsewhipped."
Leah Jacobs: "She thinks that is only sticking out by 6 inches? Lady has been lied to a lot. Regulations are in place for a reason and everyone needs to abide by the same standards. Too many special snow flakes in the world."
Gilli Ray: "Ppl across from me always have it over filling, grass and branches hanging out of it and it still gets emptied! Mind you rubbish starts flying into neighbours yards and they don't seem to give two hoots."
Jimmy Barlow: I've seen bins where they are clearly overfull, yet garbo takes them. Sometimes, especially with green waste can be hard to get lid fully close if couple of leaves sticking out."
Cam Jay: "Common sense was prob prevailing but this is only half the story, pretty good chance this is a repeat offender and given the benefit of the doubt that previous occasions were a rarity. Some times you have give the full force of the rule to make the owner learn a lesson."