Councils in NSW and Victoria continue to offer free green waste services in a bid to provide extra assistance to residents as fires continue to ravage parts of Australia.
The Blue Mountains City Council, is offering continued support to its residents with free green waste drop off services taking place until January 31 and similarly, the Wollongong City Council and the Baw Baw Shire Council are among those offering the free service.
In a statement in early January, Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said the council has been working hard to provide every assistance possible to residents.
Fires have been burning across the Blue Mountains in areas including Erskine Creek, Linden Creek, St Helena, Grose Valley and Ruined Castle.
In a statement on January 13, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) advised that continuing cooler weather has brought good news to the area as all five fires are now under control.
But, as fires continue to take their toll on Australia, councils are urging residents to prepare and take preventative measures where possible.
Greenhill said that extending the green waste service means that the council can ensure every member of the community has as much assistance as the council is able to provide.
“Unfortunately we still have a way to go before the bush fire situation eases, and council will continue to support residents and help those who are still preparing their properties for bush fires, in any way we can,” Greenhill said.
“Finding additional trucks and staff to provide the weekly green bin service has been a challenge, as waste resources across the state are also providing assistance with the unprecedented bush fire response effort.
“It’s a testament to the dedication and perseverance of Council staff and our contractor, JJ Richards, that they continue to find ways to get these extra services for our community during this critical preparation time,” he said.
The Wollongong City Council is offering free green waste drop off points across Wollongong in mid-January.
In a statement the council indicated that while the Wollongong area has not yet been affected by bush fires, the threat is real in its neighbouring local government areas. The council is advising residents to take the opportunity to clear their properties of fallen leaves, twigs and debris.
Wollongong City lord mayor Gordon Bradbery advised that the RFS had some excellent tips on preparing homes for bush fires on its website.
“You can also check if your property is on bush fire prone land on the RFS website.”
In Victoria, the Baw Baw Shire Council is offering free green waste drop-offs from January 18 to March 31.
The council indicated that the offer is of particular importance to those living on larger or rural properties with excess growth and vegetation around their homes – over and above what can be disposed of in the regular fortnightly kerbside green waste bin collections.