Piles of rubbish beside a NSW street have kicked off a bitter dispute between neighbours over cleanliness and the merits of council clean-ups. Photos of the mess were posted online with the caption "this is Australia", which set off a war of words among locals.
In the images, unwanted items including a mattress, drawers, boxes, whitegoods and bedding can be seen strewn all over the kerb. "Making our beautiful country look like slums, who pays for the compensation when someone gets hurt?" questioned one resident of the scene in Cardiff in the Hunter region.
Many locals pointed out that Lake Macquarie Council is currently undertaking a bulk waste collection, with the council's website revealing a series of pick-up dates in the area. However, other Facebook users argued these collections create "a terrible sight" and insisted the street is always filled with rubbish anyway.
"Every time I have driven past there, it has a bunch of rubbish out the front on the path," one resident wrote, while others agreed that the particular street is always "gross" and "disgusting".
However, others disputed these claims. "I drive past here every day and it's only like this for bulk waste," one woman wrote. "And with the amount of units there, of course there will be a large amount."
Who's to blame for mess?
Some said the tenants aren't to blame for the "foul" state of the rubbish. "Most people put out a neat pile, then you get the scavengers who root through it and leave a mess," someone explained.
One local woman said this is exactly what happened when she "very neatly" left bulk waste items in front of her home for council collection. She claimed that over the course of three days, multiple people "ripped open bags, tipped things everywhere and made a complete mess out of it."
She argued that in the vast majority of cases, "it's the people going through the stuff at fault" rather than those who leave rubbish on the kerb for council clean-up.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a spokesperson for Lake Macquarie Council confirmed that there is a bulk waste collection happening this week in the suburb. "This will be the final bulk waste collection for Cardiff before council transitions to a new bookable service in 2024," the spokesperson said. "One of the key reasons is to improve the visual appearance of our city."
Earlier this year, a woman in Sydney who was cleaning out her home was left with more rubbish than she bargained for after strangers dumped their own trash in her council collection pile.
Sapir Midroni said she neatly arranged her items on the street for collection, but then the council failed to pick them up on the scheduled date. The following day she was shocked to find additional furniture and rubbish items dumped on the pile, completely blocking the entrance to her home.
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