The NSW Government advises that a trip to waste facilities to dispose of household waste is now considered a ‘reasonable excuse’ under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020. Previously during the height of the pandemic emergency, a trip to the ‘tip’ was not considered a reasonable excuse for travel and those caught by police doing so risked a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $11,000.

However, in relaxing this particular restriction, the government and Council remind residents that for the safety of waste facility workers and members of the public, strict pandemic measures still apply.

“Australia, and the world, is still responding to and managing the devastating effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Andrew Parsons, spokesman for Dubbo Regional Council’s COVID-19 response. “Even a simple trip to the tip still exposes the community and facility staff to a potential risk, regardless of there being no active cases currently identified in the Dubbo LGA. The pandemic is not over, pandemic rules have not been completely relaxed.”

Residents visiting a waste facility should maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from others and practise good hygiene before and after returning from their trip.

“Council’s waste facilities are open to the public,” said Andrew Parsons. “We ask that if you consider a trip to one of the waste facilities ‘essential’, then you must further protect yourself, and our staff, by adhering to common COVID-19 safety practices.”

“First and foremost, if you are unwell, or feel unwell, do not make the trip – stay at home.”

“Please pay by card. Council, like most businesses, has very much encouraged ‘cashless transactions’ for the safety of everyone. Adhere to social distancing and wait within your vehicle until an opportunity to unload your waste is available at the transfer station”.

By taking these simple and effective measures, Council and the government feel people can better protect themselves from infection while using waste facilities to dispose of household waste.

Council’s regular waste collection services have continued to operate as an ‘essential service’ throughout the pandemic emergency.  If residents can’t or don’t wish to make the trip to a waste facility, Council urges people to sit tight and hang onto any unwanted items that can’t be correctly disposed of via normal household waste, recycling or organic bin collection service.

Alternatively, find a suitable corner in the shed, garage or spare room to store unwanted bits and pieces for responsible disposal when it's safe to do so; Council’s waste facilities will still be there when the pandemic ends. 

Image caption: A trip to the tip is now considered a reasonable excuse to leave the house.


Last Edited: 28 Apr 2020

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