Waste Services: Keeping things tidy
Published on 17 February 2023
Kiama Council’s waste crew has completed another busy summer-holiday season of work. We caught up with Darren Brennan, who has worked at Kiama Council for 26 years and leads the Waste Services team.
What does your team do?
My team has many roles. We drive Kiama’s waste trucks and conduct waste services such as keeping all parks, headlands and reserves clean of litter.
We also clean all public toilets – Kiama has around 30 toilet blocks, which stretch up our coastline all the way from Gerroa to Minnamurra and out towards Jamberoo.
In addition, we keep the streets tidy with blowers, and collect all the debris such as leaves and rubbish with our street sweepers. And we pick up any illegal dumping.
We clean the facilities owned by council, including our offices, libraries, The Pavilion, Kiama Leisure Centre and community halls.
Plus we work with our events coordinators and tourism team to provide waste services to major events such as the NYE fireworks, Kiama’s Winter Festival and many other wonderful events throughout the year.
Any standout events?
The highlight of the summer/Christmas period was the fireworks. We also loved IGNITE Winter Festival and seeing the number of people return to enjoy our wonderful town post-COVID. Even though it increases our workload, it's so nice to see the town alive again with people.
Give us some stats?
This season we used a record amount of materials such as around six pallets of toilet paper and probably 30 boxes of hand soap. We placed an extra 85 bins throughout our parks and main streets over the summer period.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I like the early start, which is 4am, and the 1pm finish. I love working outside with such a wonderful view of the harbour, headlands and seeing the sunrise every morning.
And the challenges?
The challenges we face are mostly weather related and dealing with members of the public on some occasions.
Any amusing anecdotes?
Some of our funny stories come from locals and tourists, such as being asked: “What time will you be turning on The Blowhole?” And every now and again, we run into locals at 4am on a Saturday or Sunday morning a little worse for wear. Seeing them a few days later, you just smile and nod at each other.
The last thing I'd like to add is I can't thank my team enough for getting us through this very busy period.
Our workload might have doubled, even tripled, but it was wonderful to come into town and see the place kept spotless and tidy as usual. It makes me proud to be part of our team.
And we have many events coming up including Rugby Sevens, the Jazz & Blues Festival and we can't forget Easter. We’re getting ready to do it all over again!
Photo (L-R): Elliot, Darren, Anthony, Steven and Vance from Kiama’s waste services crew