Page 762 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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“upgrade to a bigger bin”, apparently to the cost of $116.40. Of course, having a bigger bin with material of such a nature hanging around for a fortnight is just exacerbating the problem.

A retirement home expressed concern about accessibility and how older people would manage the requirements of the program, particularly that age group, as I mentioned, where there are health and vulnerability needs and the frequent use and hence need to dispose of medical supplies. An assisted living centre whose bins were not being collected when they should have been, which is also very unfortunate, called me in desperate confusion about what to do next. We have mentioned adults with their own nappy and medical waste needs. This scheme is really impacting on them by losing that weekly pick-up.

I want to read something from a constituent. I will keep the details confidential:

Dear ACT Government,

Your rubbish trial isn’t working for me—I doubt it’s working for any disabled families. Picking up normal garbage once a fortnight rather than weekly means that despite paying for a second bin, we are overrun with soiled nappies and despite double-bagging them, everything smells. It’s pretty gross. And we have medical waste on top of that. We used to compost and put our food scraps on the garden, but now you’ve given us a bin and more bags to put them in that you collect weekly, but the things we really need to get rid of can’t go in there. I just don’t get the logic. There has to be a better way.

And a further comment from this household:

It was at an extreme point of frustration where I couldn’t find a solution and the smell in our yard was overwhelming. We paid for an extra service but because of my son’s meds and condition, his nappies are awful to hold on for two weeks. We’ve had neighbours complain about our rubbish. We don’t have a huge amount of medical waste at all times, but when there’s a hospitalisation required at home, then the medical wastes that are produced are overwhelming to this household.

Because of these concerns brought to me by constituents in Ginninderra, I am pleased to say that I am sponsoring a petition on behalf of residents, which is live and active on my MLA webpage. I encourage all those who hear me and see this recording or read the Hansard to participate in this petition that expresses the will of, I believe, the majority of families, those with health needs, the elderly and the disabled in the Ginninderra community.

Mr Steel’s amendment, which I speak against, of course suggests that the government is doing a pretty good job, is listening to people and is giving them advice. Here is one piece of very interesting advice. I quote from a frequently asked question from the website. It is about managing food scraps and meat waste and having that sitting in the FOGO bin for a time. The suggestion is to “freeze your meat and fish scraps and putting them in the bin the morning before”. Wouldn’t that be an easy thing to do: everyone goes out and buys an extra freezer so that they can accommodate the smell, and then they have to remember to put it all out in the morning before the pick-up.

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