Every cent counts in the future of waste services at Cumberland Council after a fiery meeting on Wednesday night.
Administrator Viv May called an extraordinary meeting regarding the proposed outsourcing of waste services.
The public were unaware of the meeting agenda until Monday afternoon.
Following a hour long public forum and several questions to council staff, Mr May adopted to proceed with a tender for domestic kerbside collection of waste, recyclables, garden organics, dumped rubbish and clean up services. The decision sparked loud protests from the packed public gallery.
“Status quo is not an option,”Mr May told the chamber.
The council inherited three separate waste service methods from the former Auburn, Holroyd and Parramatta Councils.
Savings were initially estimated to be $16 million but after Mr May’s questioning, it was revealed savings are more likely to be $19 million over the next seven years.
The figure doesn’t include more than $10 million sitting in the waste reserve which will be returned to the community.
The decision means former Holroyd residents will get the green bin they haven’t had until now.
Mr May hopes the new service will start before he leaves in September to make way for the new elected council.
“It won’t go ahead if it isn’t cost effective,” he told media afterwards.
“Regardless what happens, there will be changes.”
Households will also be surveyed about preferred collection times after Mr May saw residents’ complaints on the Sun’s Facebook page about 4am garbage collection times.
Greens MP David Shoebridge, union representatives and former councillors fired up the crowd at a public rally before the meeting.
Speakers questioned why services had to outsourced when a recent customer satisfaction survey by the council revealed that household garbage collection was ranked the highest.
Opportunity to be part of council decision making was ranked the fourth lowest.
“I’ve worked in this community for 20 years and I’m devastated about what’s happening,” former Holroyd councillor and mayor John Perry said.
“This is our community. We need walk in there and escort Mr May out. This community needs to take their city back!”