Waste Collection in the City of Sydney

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


The original motion was moved by Councillor Weldon, seconded by Councillor Jarrett.

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         on 11 April 2022 Councillor Gannon moved a Notice of Motion:

(a)       that something urgently must be done to improve waste collection services in Potts Point and the Kings Cross locality; and

(a)       the Chief Executive Officer be requested to report to Council via the CEO Update of immediate options for consideration to alleviate the current waste situation in the Potts Point area;

(ii)        on 26 May 2022, an article by Michael Koziol “Out of Control Big Stink as Bins Overflow in Central Sydney”, published in the Sydney Morning Herald reported that:

(a)       Council is under growing pressure to fix an “out of control” waste problem in Central Sydney;

(b)       community Facebook pages were overflowing with irate residents demanding urgent action;

(c)       Deputy Lord Mayor Scully stated that an investigation was underway by Council staff and urged people to be patient;

(d)       Councillor Scott received complaints people about unsatisfactory waste collection services from across the City of Sydney and Councillor Gannon stated that he “constantly” received complaints from residents and “the situation is definitely not getting better”; and

(e)       a community member Dominic Cudmore suggested “a delegation of residents should visit Local Government Minister Wendy Tuckerman and seek an intervention”;

(iii)      many businesses and residents are concerned about delays and “no shows” by waste collection services. A number of Councillors, including myself, have received representations from those concerned and photographs showing overflowing rubbish bins and piles of waste rotting in the streets across the City of Sydney Local Government Area;

(iv)      the CEO Update provided on 31 May 2022 in response to Councillor Gannon’s Notion of Motion advised that:

(a)       Covid was accompanied by an increase in domestic waste and dumped rubbish across the city;

(b)       the dissipation of Covid coincided with a relatively high turnover in the local population, requiring the education of new residents about the City’s waste requirements and services;

(c)       the City’s cleansing team and rangers conduct daily street cleansing inspections of Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay; and

(d)       the City has adopted a number of actions to immediately address concerns in Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay, and across the Local Government Area; and

(i)         the City of Sydney is committed to addressing the serious concerns of the community about waste issues in our Local Government Area; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         report back to Council via the CEO Update on the progress and expected dates of completion of the proposed actions to manage waste in Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay as listed in the 31 May 2022 CEO Update;

(ii)        meet with the City’s waste collection contractors to identify and implement immediate steps to improve waste management across the City of Sydney, with the meeting to take place prior to the next Council meeting and agreed steps be reported to Council via the CEO Update; and

(iii)      report to Council via the CEO Update on the incidence and location of vermin infestations in the City of Sydney and other serious risks to public health resulting from the current garbage collection crisis.

The amended motion was carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 27/06/2022

Date of decision: 27/06/2022

Decided at meeting: 27/06/2022 - Council

Accompanying Documents: