Costly outcome for rubbish dumpers

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MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has successfully prosecuted 11 rubbish dumpers in the past seven months, resulting in fines of over $11,000.

The shire says it is “continuing its zero-tolerance approach to illegally dumped rubbish” with 10 cases of aggravated littering and one local law breach being heard at Dromana Magistrates’ Court.

Two tree loppers and five peninsula businesses were among those prosecuted in the cases which resulted in $11,459 in fines and $2313 in costs being recovered to help pay for clean-ups and offset statutory costs.

The shire’s environment protection unit is getting tough on rubbish dumpers by boosting patrols at dumping hot spots with CCTV and covert cameras and gates, fences and bollards to prevent access to parks and reserves.

The shire says all dumping incidents will be investigated with a view to prosecuting offenders.

The council has also begun letterbox drops calling for residents to provide information about waste dumps, and rolled out the Dob-in-a-Dumper campaign to raise awareness of legal disposal methods.

“Illegal dumping is a crime and can incur on-the-spot fines,” the mayor Cr David Gill said. “Council will investigate all reported cases and prosecute dumpers with penalties of up to $9500.”

Cr Gill said dumped waste posed a “serious threat to our wildlife and can lead to contamination of land, waterways and groundwater”.

“It’s not hard to do the right thing with a long list of items able to be disposed of for little or no cost at our resource recovery centres, or use the waste vouchers on rates notices to book a kerbside collection.

“The recent disruption to the recycling industry is another reminder of how crucial it is [that] we all make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce, and dispose of rubbish and recycling correctly.”

The shire spends more than $700,000 a year cleaning up illegally dumped waste. A total of 4518 cases of illegal dumping have been reported in the past 12 months.

“Hardworking ratepayers’ money could be put to much better use in our community,” Cr Gill said.

The most commonly dumped items are mulch, green waste, hard waste, such as furniture and miscellaneous items, and tyres.

Items that can be dropped off for free at the resource recovery centres include household recyclables, steel goods (excluding fridges and air conditioners), bikes, computers, TVs, paint (up to 100 litres), gas cylinders (up to 9kg); motor oil (up to 20 litres), fluorescent globes and tubes and batteries.

Green waste can be taken to the resource recovery centres using waste vouchers or disposed of through the shire’s no-charge green waste events twice a year.

For a full list of items you can dispose of for free, visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/wasteguide

Peninsula households can book free kerbside waste collections for green and hard waste on 5950 1406.

Report dumpers at mornpen.vic.gov.au/dobinadumper or call 1300 850 600 or 5950 1000.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 13 August 2019

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