13 December 2023

Storm-impacted suburbs to receive extra green waste collection

| Lizzie Waymouth
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ESA crew removing tree branches from roof

Clean-up crews are expected to work into the new year to address the damage caused by last week’s storm. Photo: ESA.

The ACT Government will be providing additional household green waste collection for suburbs that were severely hit by the storm last Friday (8 December).

Residents in Amaroo, Charnwood, Downer, Dunlop, Evatt, Giralang, Kaleen, Ngunnawal, Nicholls and Palmerston will have an extra green waste pick-up on Saturday (16 December) and are advised to put their bins out on the kerb by 5 am.

Free green waste skip bins will also be available from tomorrow (14 December) at public places for people living in the most affected suburbs.

The additional collection forms part of the ongoing clean-up efforts after last week’s storm.

Across the ACT, Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) specialist crews have been working their way through the more than 1000 requests that have been reported so far, with some involving multiple trees or sites.

ACT Emergency Services (ESA) volunteers and crews across SES, RFS, Fire and Rescue and the Community Fire Unit have also been working to make homes and streets safe following the storm.

“Clean-up crews from TCCS, ESA and ACT SES have been working tirelessly since the Friday evening storm to clear damage, fallen trees and debris, and to make public spaces such as roads and paths safe for the community,” Minister for City Services Tara Cheyne said.

READ ALSO NSW SES deployed to Canberra with storm clean up expected to take all week

Ms Cheyne said she knew many Canberrans were facing clean-up tasks on their private properties, and the ACT Government wanted to support those significantly impacted to make the process easier.

“Now that most of the storm-impacted areas have been made safe, we’ll be working rapidly to support Canberrans who may have large amounts of material on private property and surrounds,” she said.

The choice to provide the additional green bin collection to the 10 suburbs in Canberra’s north was based on a range of data available to the ACT Government, including requests for assistance and the path of the storm.

“The extra collection will allow households with an already full bin, as well as households that don’t have a scheduled green waste collection for another week or so, to clear the green waste from their property and enable any further clean-up,” Ms Cheyne said.

Residents can also drop off green waste for free at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre in Symonston and Canberra Sand and Gravel in Belconnen.

Ms Cheyne said she understood that some residents would not be able to travel to the drop-off locations or live in a suburb that will not have an additional green waste bin collection.

“For this reason, we have prioritised the consideration of additional measures for people to dispose of green waste where the additional collection may not be occurring, where residents have much larger green waste to dispose of, or where they may not be eligible or able to make use of these specific options.”

For this reason, temporary green waste skip bins will be available from tomorrow at specific locations:

  • Kambah – Kambah No1 Oval off Chirnside Cct
  • Kaleen – Kaleen South Oval granite carpark off Maribyrnong Ave opposite Diamantina Cres intersection
  • Nicholls – Nicholls Oval, High School end of car park off Clarrie Hermes
  • Dunlop – Near Dunlop shops on granite carpark, Buncle Pl.

Ms Cheyne said the ACT Government will continue to assess requests to determine where smaller skip bins may be needed across Canberra.

READ ALSO Insects to help in Territory’s fight against infestation of Prickly Pear

Although resources have been bolstered by assistance from trained chainsaw operators from the ACT Parks and Conservation Service and an extra four contracted crews, clean-up from the storm will likely continue for some time.

“While some work will continue during the Christmas break, this will be scaled back. The focus is on making areas safe before the Christmas period. Like all Canberrans, most crews will be taking a well-earned break and returning in early January to continue these and their other efforts,” Ms Cheyne said.

Ms Cheyne also reiterated that the removal of trees will be undertaken in stages: first, the removal of the bulk of the tree, then the removal of the stump.

“We expect that much of the first and this next stage will take place in late January as our teams return from their much-deserved leave.”

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I drove around Kambah and Gleneagles. Learmonth drive had massive trees fallen over some breaking roofs. Gleneagles Mt Vernon drive looked like WW3 had hit, the Murrumbidgee Golf Course was devastated with fallen trees and Ivo Whitton Cct also had trees fallen all over the place and many roofs broken. Athllon drive was likewise smashed with trees falling over and cars crushed. Absolute devastation.

My suburb in Tuggeranong was not affected but I went for a drive to the Gleneagles golf course near the Murrumbidgee River and was amazed by the devastation there and in nearby properties – huge gum trees with their root systems up in the air and broken branches everywhere though I don’t know if any house was damaged!

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