AFTER a week of dragging damp and destroyed furniture to the dump and hosing mud from their homes, the financial cost of the floods is starting to add up for Gunnedah locals.
For many, tip fees and waste disposal costs have been an extra kick in the guts for families already struggling to cope with the costs of repairing their homes.
Gunnedah Shire Council last week introduced free waste disposal for those impacted, but some locals say it was too late, and they had already been charged to dispose of waste.
Katrina Logan, who's Little Conadilly Street home was badly impacted, said the support services offered by council have been poorly communicated.
"There was nothing advertised initially, I have three kids under six and we lost power so we left for the week," she said.
"The day we returned, I rang the skip company, got a skip bin in and there was still no notification they would help when I got home.
"We started our cleanup and spent the entire weekend cleaning up, then on Monday we found out on Facebook that they were doing a free pick-up between Monday and Friday on kerbsides."
Gunnedah's Dion Betts said council should have waived the fees sooner, as many residents had already been charged and now have to fill out paper work to be reimbursed.
"We should have been notified straight away that it was going to happen," he said.
"People shouldn't have been volunteering their time and getting charged at the tip, and people shouldn't have been getting charged at the tip for flood waste.
"Why does it have to be so black and white that everything that went in there had to be charged. Why wasn't there some leniency, why was there such a process?
"And why didn't it happen before someone was asked why it hadn't happened?"
A Gunnedah council spokesperson said floodwaters began to subside on Wednesday, December 1, and council officers immediately began the work of assessing the damage, including which roads and areas had been most impacted.
"Within two days, council was able to offer free waste disposal for flood-affected residents following practical arrangements with the contractor," the spokesperson said.
Council said flood impacted residents who had already taken their rubbish to the Gunnedah Waste Management Facility were offered a refund and are able to continue to use this alternate method.
Bulky waste collection is also being conducted this week to help residents, council said.
Waste collection fees will also be waived for people in rural areas and other residents who want to take flood waste directly to the Gunnedah Waste Management Facility until December 18.
Residents need to complete a declaration form before depositing their waste.
"Gunnedah Shire Council staff have been working hard to get the shire's roads and infrastructure repaired and in safe working order as soon as possible," the spokesperson said.
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