Gympie Regional Council will vote on a proposal to shrink hours, close sites at rubbish dumps around the region.
Gympie Regional Council will vote on a proposal to shrink hours, close sites at rubbish dumps around the region. Tanya Easterby

Council tipped to reduce hours, close dumps

BIG changes could be coming to Gympie's rubbish collection sites with the Gympie Regional Council to vote on a proposal today which would reduce hours at most tips and have four other sites dumped.

According to the proposal before council, operating hours at Bonnick Rd, Tin Can Bay, Gunalda, Sexton, Widgee and the Mary Valley would be shrunk, while the bin sites at Traveston, Amamoor, Tansey and Manumbar would be closed.

A bin bank would instead be installed at Manumbar, while there would be no changes to the Rainbow Beach tip.

The biggest changes to open hours would be experienced at Tin Can Bay (reduced by 21 hours per week), Widgee (18 hours per week), and Bonnick Rd (14 hours per week).

The majority of changes will be made to weekend hours.

Changes will also be made to the Kilkivan and Goomeri transfer stations: Kilkivan would be closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Goomeri would be closed Tuesdays and Thursdays.

As unmanned sites, they are currently open seven days per week.

The report says the changes will reduce operational expenditure by about $470,000 per year.

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Closure of the Traveston dump alone would save $181,000 per year, with the report saying it is "difficult to justify the value for money of this service” given the low entry numbers and that the catchment is fully serviced by kerbside collection.

If accepted, the changes would begin on July 1.

Safety risks at unmanned sites is one of the biggest concerns raised in the proposal.

According to the report "the responsibility on council to positively control its waste sites has been highlighted in the gas bottle explosion at the Traveston Waste Management Facility in 2016”, but the cost of supervising all existing sites is considered "prohibitive”.

Environmental concerns were also an important consideration, with chemical and asbestos disposal, contamination of green waste piles, lighting of fires and waste burning, and uncontrolled dumping problems the council seeks to fix with the changes.

Expansion of kerbside collection to more than 1400 residents in the region was previously adopted by council at their May 10 meeting by a vote of six to three.

Councillors Glen Hartwig, Hilary Smerdon and James Cochrane voted against the expansion.