What ‘essential waste' can we take to the tip?
WITH many people doing 'autumn cleaning' at home, boxes and boxes of unwanted items are piling up around Northern Rivers homes.
And although tips are open, councils across the area have asked residents to avoid dropping rubbish unless it's 'essential waste'.
But what actually is essential waste?
Lloyd Isaacson, manager Resource Recovery at Ballina Shire Council offered a quick explanation.
"Essential waste is any waste or recycling material that can't be stored in a safe manner at your home; that has the potential to create a hazard to health, safety, create odour and/or attract vermin; or that is waste generated from a business/commercial activity," he said.
"Council has implemented a range of operational measures at the Ballina Waste Management Centre to minimise the COVID-19 related risks.
"However, the best way to keep our community and staff safe is to eliminate the risk all together, which is why we are asking the community to put off any non-essential trips to the waste centre until it's safe to do so," he added.
"We have seen a significant increase in the number of visitors to the Waste Management Centre since people have been forced to stay at home due to social distancing restrictions. "While we have implemented operational measures to minimise the COVID-19 related risks, the best form of risk management is to eliminate any chance of transmission, which is why we are asking the community to put off any non-essential trips to the tip until after the pandemic," he explained.
The manager of Resource Recovery offered a tip to safely storing items that residents may want to get rid of:
"If you can safely store the material in boxes, in the corner of the garage or other suitable area in your home, that is preferable," he said.
Ballina Shire Council is encouraging the community to continue to stay home, and only visit the waste centre for essential waste disposal during this time.