A business owner has called on council to rethink a tip change for commercial operators to level the playing field when their customers are elderly or have a disability.
Frank Stramlic, as part of his property maintenance business, takes household goods to the tip for customers unable to do so themselves.
Mr Stramlic said he was told, as a commercial operator, he could no longer take waste from households to the Kingfisher Road facility.
That means a drive to Cairncross Waste Management Facility, 15 kilometres from Port Macquarie, where charges are weight-based rather than by the trailer load as at Kingfisher Road.
The change hit home when elderly customer Len Wagner asked Mr Stramlic to dispose of a fridge.
Mr Wagner said he simply couldn’t take the fridge to the tip on his own.
“Len asked me to do the job for him but he is being penalised by council now because he is unable to do the job himself,” Mr Stramlic said.
Mr Stramlic said the elderly and people with a disability, who were unable to transport domestic waste to the tip, would be forced to pay extra if they employed someone to do the job on their behalf.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council group manager Maria Doherty said an increasing number of commercial operators had been accessing the domestic waste transfer facilities at Kingfisher Road in Port Macquarie.
“With this increase in commercial access and the facility nearing capacity, council is looking to direct all commercial operators to the Cairncross Waste Facility, over a transitionary period,” she said.
“Entry at Cairncross is via a weighbridge, and those disposing of commercial waste will be charged based on weight, which may decrease or increase disposal costs dependent on each individual load.
“Council is committed to providing waste facilities that meet the needs of the entire community and will continue to focus on ensuring there is a balance between convenience, cost and looking after our precious environment.”
Mr Stramlic fears the changes could lead to illegal dumping.
“I think the ideal situation would be for commercial operators being employed by ratepayers to transport domestic waste to the tip to be allowed to go to Kingfisher Road as previously,” he said.