Weigh over the top

By UTE SCHULENBERG

IMAGINE gaining 60 kilograms in 10 seconds!

This might sound like a nightmare scenario for sweating contestants on 'The Biggest Loser' but for Neville Waters it was a nasty shock that meant he lost money.

For nine years, Mr Waters and his neighbour have shared the weekly task of taking their rubbish to the Englands Roads Waste Facility. Every week it's about 60 kilograms.

In the days of the old weighbridge, the cost was $4.50, which rose to about $7.50 with the new bridge.

But last Saturday the docket Mr Waters received after dumping his rubbish was $11.40 for a load weighing 120 kilograms ? an increase of 60 kilograms!

"It was just bizarre ? there is no way the load last week was double every other week," Mr Waters said.

Things got even weirder when the puzzled Mr Waters asked the attendant if he could drive his empty mini-bus through again to check the consistency of the weighbridge.

"I drove off the ramp and back onto the ramp ? it was no more than 10 seconds," he said.

The dockets showed the vehicle now weighed 60 kilograms more.

"Such a large difference is really odd," he said.

"I am concerned if the weighing is not right, then everyone is being overcharged."

According to a spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council, the weighbridge used is 'as accurate as any device anywhere' and is 'regularly calibrated'.

"By law it must be checked every 12 months," she said.

"No technology is 100 per cent accurate.

"The maximum error here is 20 kilograms but it works both ways, so it does even out."

She said the weighbridge was designed for trucks up to 60 tonnes and was less accurate with smaller vehicles.

"This is why we charge a flat fee for the type of rubbish cars dumped by cars."

The council's resource recovery manager, Jeff Green, did however admit the 60kg discrepancy would be looked into.

"The calibration was only done recently ? it's very expensive," he said.

Mr Waters did say there had been one occasion where he had only been charged $4 for his load.

"But we really need to know that the weights are right."



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