Green waste disposal restrictions have been lifted in the Macedon Ranges as the region prepares for the peak fire season.
While the CFA is encouraging home owners to clear their land before fire restrictions come into effect, Macedon Ranges council has made the task easier for residents.
At its meeting last week, the council agreed to lift restrictions on free green waste disposal.
Previously residents could dispose of a small trailer load (182 centimetres x 122 centimetres) of green waste for free. The cost for larger loads ranged from $28 up to $303.
Councillor Janet Pearce said residents should not have to be out-of-pocket for clearing land.
She said many residents had complained they were forced to make multiple trips to the council’s waste stations with smaller loads so they could dispose of them for free.
“We want to encourage people to clear areas,” she said. “And if we can discourage people from burning off, that’s also an important aspect.”
The changes will be permanent but Cr Pearce encouraged residents to make use of the free service particularly in the lead-up to summer.
“We need to be doing it year-round, but especially now.”
Hume residents are eligible for up to two free passes a year for waste disposal at council facilities.
Mount Macedon group firefighter Mike Dornau also encouraged residents to ensure their properties were fire-ready.
“Now is the perfect time,” he said. “Particularly because the weather is being so kind to us at the moment.”
Group officer Ian Hay urged people to be aware of local laws for burning off before lighting a fire.
He warned people to never leave a burn-off unattended, and to always have water nearby.
“Residents must be aware that any fire they light is their responsibility,” Mr Hay said.
“All fire has the potential to get away if not controlled properly.”
Mr Hay urged residents to register all burn-offs by calling 1800 668 511.
“If people register their burn-offs we know what is happening in that area, which is very helpful when brigades are being dispatched to jobs.”
Burn-offs are not permitted on less than an acre. For more details on burning off in the Macedon Ranges visit mrsc.vic.gov.au. Hume residents should see hume.gov.au
This year’s fire season has not yet been declared but it usually starts in early December.