Outdoors pools have reopened and green waste drop off days will resume in Port Stephens, coming as NSW hurtles towards reaching the goal of a 70 per cent double vaccinated population.
Residents began to dive back into the outdoor pools in Salamander Bay, Raymond Terrace and Mallabula on Monday, the same day the NSW Government announced its staged roadmap to freedom would begin on October 11, while Port Stephens Council will resume its green waste drop off days from Sunday, October 3.
"Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, we had to cancel all non-essential services including free green waste drop off days," Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said.
"We understand it has been an inconvenience for many, so we've looked at ways we can safely reinstate this service for those with a reasonable excuse under the public health order.
"Keeping our community and employees safe is still the most important priority. That's why we'll be using a booking system to ensure these days are COVID-Safe."
The green waste drop offs are for Port Stephens residents and ratepayers only.
While the council will resume its green waste drop off days, the public health order is still in place meaning residents are required to have a reasonable excuse to leave their home.
"Reasonable excuses might include clearing up after a tree has fallen, moving and needing to clear green waste or the green waste poses a health, safety or fire hazard," the council's waste coordinator, Chris Cannard, said.
"A booking system will be in place and we ask people to please wear a mask, only have one person per vehicle and abide by all other COVID restrictions.
"Bookings will be capped to five people every 20 minutes to reduce peak times and help keep everyone safe.
"This will allow around 400 people per month to use the service, which is what we would normally expect."
The Port's pools were in a staged closure during winter for scheduled maintenance and upgrades but all have been closed since the lockdown was introduced to the Hunter on August 5.
Changes to the public health orders has allowed for outdoor pools across the state to reopen in all regions to vaccinated and unvaccinated residents.
Aquatic centres with a COVID-19 safety plan that address customer and staff wellbeing, physical distancing, ventilation, hygiene and cleaning and record keeping have been allowed to reopen.
Green waste drop off bookings are essential. Phone (04) 4988 0255.
Accepted materials include tree and cuttings, loose leaves, grass clippings. Not accepted is treated, painted or laminated timber.
Green waste drop off dates for October are:
- Sunday, October 3: Karuah, Lemon Tree Passage, Salamander Bay
- Sunday, October 10: Salamander Bay, Raymond Terrace
- Sunday, October 17: Lemon Tree Passage, Salamander Bay
- Sunday, October 24: Salamander Bay, Raymond Terrace
- Sunday, October 31: Salamander Bay
Drop off locations:
- Karuah: The vacant council land next to the Karuah Centre
- Lemon Tree Passage: The old waste depot on Lemon Tree Passage Road
- Raymond Terrace: Newline Road Waste Facility
- Salamander Bay: Salamander Bay Waste Transfer Station
Green waste drop off conditions:
- Read the public health order to determine if you meet the exemptions for travel
- Follow all public health order regulations. For example: 1 person per vehicle, mask must be worn outside and travelling for a reasonable excuse.
- Bookings are restricted to 1 per Sunday
- Vehicles without bookings will not be accepted
- For residents and rate payers of Port Stephens only
- Commercial operators are unable to use the services for their business waste
- Only quantities of 1 box trailer/ute will be accepted
- Materials less than 1.5m in length only will be accepted
- Residents must unload their own material into a skip of truck provider and must comply with all instructions from the site operator
- Large loads will not be accepted at the Karuah drop off site as it is not set up for this
- Council has the right to accept/decline excess quantities
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