‘Non-essential’ tip use under fire

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A RESIDENT has complained that Mornington Peninsula Shire’s transfer stations are “going flat strap catering to hordes of customers who are treating tips like there is no coronavirus”.

The man, who asked not to be named to protect staff at one of the transfer stations, said “bored” residents were using spare tip vouchers to fill in their time.

He pointed out that none of the state government’s four stay-at-home rules referred to dumping waste at tips. “They are blatantly breaking the rules,” he said. “It’s so wrong.”

“Customers are 99 per cent domestic bringing in small loads, like a couple of cardboard boxes, because they have nothing else to do at home.”

The man said he overheard a conversation between a customer with a load of green waste and a tip worker. “He was asked if he was domestic or commercial. He said: ‘Domestic’ and the tip worker asked him: ‘Then why are you here?’”

“The customer answered: ‘What am I going to do? I have another load to bring here’.”

The man agreed the shire had put in place a range of protections for staff, such as separation from customers, “sneeze” guards, sanitiser, gloves, and card-only payments.

“But that’s not enough,” he said. “The tips should be closed to the public. One staffer had to go home she was so stressed.

“Every time they touch a tip ticket from the public they have to sanitise it; they have to go to a lot of trouble.”

The shire says the transfer stations will remain open as waste disposal is considered an essential service.

Infrastructure services manager Jessica Wingad said residents could only use the transfer stations if the visit was essential and in line with the level 3 coronavirus rules set by the state government.

“Customers should respect the safety and wellbeing of our staff who continue to operate these facilities,” she said. “Victoria police are currently enforcing non-essential travel and gathering.”

Access to transfer stations and hoppers is through vouchers and EFT only. At-call kerbside hard waste and green waste collection is also through vouchers or online payment only.

Normal kerbside waste and recycling services will continue, as will the opt-in, fee for service kerbside green waste bin collection service on a pro-rata basis.

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