A rubbish disposal scheme that would smash families with babies and toddlers has residents up in arms, with some trashing the scheme as unfair and one that would lead to more illegal dumping.
South Australia’s Green Industries department said it was studying the idea of a “pay-as-you-throw” rubbish disposal system that would lower council rates on households but increase charges with each kilogram of rubbish put out for collection.
“It doesn’t make sense, it is not equitable,” one man told 9News Adelaide on Wednesday.
Another resident said council services needed to be “balanced and fair”.
“And I think we pay lot already for everything, for every other service,” she said.
South Australian Liberal Leader David Speirs has moved to condemn the proposal, branding it a “nappy tax” on families already struggling through a cost-of-living crisis.
“We are all for finding ways to reduce waste, but Labor’s ‘nappy tax’ would unfairly target larger families, particularly those with young children, at a time when they can least afford it,” he said.
“When I served as the state’s Environment Minister, I categorically rejected the idea because it would cost households more and create an additional administrative burden on local councils.
“There is also a great risk of creating neighbourly disputes, with the possibility of some people putting their household rubbish in their neighbour’s bins to save themselves money.
Some residents have expressed similar concerns on social media about “dishonest” people putting rubbish in their bins to dodge the extra costs or dumping more rubbish on the street.
“This will encourage dishonest people to put their rubbish in neighbours bins,” Maree Fitzgibbon said.
“More people will dump rubbish illegally to get out of paying for this … absolutely a ridiculous idea when most families are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food in their children‘s bellies,” Jessie May said.
An online poll conducted by Yahoo News also shows the scheme has already hit a brick wall of opposition.
From 685 votes, 87 per cent said it the proposal was unfair with only 13 per cent backing the scheme as a sensible incentive to reduce waste.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said kerbside collection services would not change.
“We will not be changing that in any way shape or form,” he said.
“Yes, absolutely we can rule that out.”
The controversy comes on the back of a new collection system causing angst to residents in inner-city Sydney.
The Inner West council has reduced garbage bin collection to once a fortnight instead of once a week, leading to bins overflowing with rubbish.