Council reveals cost of illegally dumped waste

dumped rubbish

Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) residents are footing the bill to clean up illegally dumped waste.

A CGRC spokesperson said the bill to clean up the mess runs into the “thousands and thousands of dollars”.

“Our employees are continually picking up rubbish and items that have been illegally dumped in laneways, roadsides and are dealing with rubbish put in the wrong bins,” the spokesperson said.

“We are frequently seeing general waste put in the green and yellow recycling bins. This practice contaminates the process of recycling.” 

CGRC garbage trucks are fitted with cameras and can record where breaches on the type of materials being disposed of are occurring. In many cases the drivers will not pick up the bin if it is contaminated with general waste. 

dumped rubbish
Green recycling bins filled with general waste, contaminate the recycling process.

Mattresses, used pallets and unidentified garbage are causing concern for council employees, who have the task of cleaning it up. The spokesperson said employees are frustrated that the message just isn’t getting across. 

Council issued a warning recently when loads of items were dumped at the front of charity stores. Cameras, posters and lights are now in place to warn against the practice, however it has now moved to more discreet locations, causing fire and rodent hazards and costing ratepayers thousands in clean-up costs. 

CGRC mayor Cr Charlie Sheahan, said he was dismayed that irresponsible and inconsiderate people are taking advantage of council’s employees and wasting valuable resources. 

“The people who illegally dump waste and put rubbish in recycling bins are denying ratepayers and residents services that could be implemented if we weren’t spending money on cleaning up after them,” Sheahan said. ‘The costs must be recovered, and these costs are reflected in waste charges. The irony in all this is many who do dump general rubbish into recycling bins, ring council and complain that their bins haven’t been emptied.

“I’m putting the call out to all residents, DOB in a DUMPER! We need to put a stop to it. Its not only unsightly and dangerous, it’s costing us all dearly”

The penalties for illegal dumping waste can be hefty, particularly if the Environment Protection Authority becomes involved. On-the-spot fines for illegal dumping are up to $7500 for individuals and $15,000 for corporations, if issued by the EPA. 

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