Aberdeen resident Roy Bridge takes aim at council tip fees

FOR most of the time, Roy Bridge just goes with the flow.

But, the Aberdeen born and bred man can’t bite his tongue any longer.

He’s upset – no, more to the point, he’s angry – about the Upper Hunter Shire Council waste depot payments he’s incurred recently.

“I’m not a whinger; I’m just after a fair go for the community,” Mr Bridge said.

“And, the tip fees are too dear.

“Council’s made me so cranky.

“They really need to do something about it.”

In his own time, and at his own expense, Mr Bridge mows the church lawn as well as a section of the Aberdeen Cemetery.

He’s also lending a hand with the Aberdeen RSL War Memorial, which will be unveiled in all its glory again this weekend for Remembrance Day.

That act of generosity has hit him in the back pocket, too.

“I’m trying to look after the town I love,” he said.

“I help the boys [at the cemetery] and the two council guys do a good job.

“However, I’ve had enough of it [the high fees].

“It really gets my goat.

“For instance, we’re fixing the war memorial for the community.

“I arrive at the tip – and it’s $2400 to dump the concrete and a further $900 for two loads of dirt.

“Then, if you unload grass, it’s $13.50 whether it is a garbage can or a disposable bin.

“That [garbage can] is half the size of a disposable bin, so it should be half the price.

“But, no, it’s the same – no matter how big or small the load is.

“How does council justify that?

“You try and do the right thing; however I can see why people don’t use the waste depot facilities if they’re going to be charged ridiculous amounts.”

Mr Bridge is also distraught his pleas to repair a section of the Aberdeen Cemetery went unheeded.

“I’ve asked them [council] to fix the fence, which has collapsed – that was eight months ago,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it’s fallen on deaf ears.

“I think it’s disrespectful to the deceased and their families.”

A spokesperson from Upper Hunter Shire Council said the waste charges were reflected by the NSW Government Waste Levy of $79.60 per tonne. 

“The levy is collected by council and is paid monthly to the NSW Government,” she said.

“Landfill operational costs include licensing, monitoring and environmental management.

“A major initiative of council is to meet recycling targets in line with state and federal guidelines. 

“This has involved development of improved recycling and waste handling services across the shire.

“Some waste types such as asbestos, concrete and mulching incur a higher processing cost.

“However, council is constantly working with suppliers and contractors to ensure best value for money and efficiencies in services provided.”

A spokesperson for council said the fence at Aberdeen Cemetery was due to be fixed in the next few weeks.

“The fence and a power pole were damaged by a vehicle,” she said.

“There were delays in getting it fixed as Ausgrid were required to be brought in to do the electrical work.

“The pole has now been replaced and repairs can start on the fence.

“Council appreciates the contributions Mr Bridge has made to the community and particularly the Aberdeen RSL War Memorial.

“Council waived DA fees for the memorial and could consider a request to waive tip fees if made in writing by the Aberdeen RSL Sub-Branch.”