IN a push to prevent unsightly streets during the annual hard waste collection, this year Wellington Shire Council has introduced a new process for hard waste placed out too early and rejected hard waste.
Mayor Peter Cleary said each year council received a large number of calls from concerned residents regarding the duration of time waste was left on nature strips.
"We recognise that it is unpleasant and have acted in response to requests from our residents to make improvements to the service," he said.
"For that reason, we are introducing a new system designed to make sure that our streets are cleaner, sooner."
Mr Cleary said Wellington Shire Council provided a comprehensive list of acceptable and unacceptable items.
He said contractors would collect up to 1.5 cubic metres from each household.
"We ask that items are not placed on nature strips more than seven days before allocated collection dates," he added.
"This year, our litter prevention officer will request that items placed outside on nature strips too early be removed until the appropriate time.
"This year, unacceptable items and items totalling greater than 1.5 cubic metres will be clearly rejected and households notified.
"Council has already dealt with a number of calls regarding hard waste left on nature strips more than a week prior to allocated collection dates.
"To maintain the aesthetic of our community, council's litter prevention officer has visited these locations where hard waste has been placed out too early. As a result, all of these items have been removed.
"Council's litter prevention officer will also follow up all cases of rejected hard waste to ensure that they are removed in a timely manner. Items which are not removed may be subject to penalties under the Environmental Protection Agency Act."
All hard waste items must be neatly stacked on nature strips before 6am on the Monday of allocated collection weeks, but not more than seven days prior.
Items should not obstruct fire plugs or water valves and individual items should be able to be lifted by two people.
Steel and scrap metal must be placed in a separate pile to other items.
One collection truck will take steel and scrap metal; a second will take other items (this may not happen on the same day).
Beginning yesterday in Wurruk, hard waste collection will travel around the shire during the next 12 weeks.
Full details of collection locations and dates are available on the council website, www.wellington.vic.gov.au
Keep an eye on Wellington News council updates in the Gippsland Times for collection dates.