POLICE have given assurances they will take no action against residents legitimately dumping rubbish at Mornington Peninsula Shire’s transfer station in Watt Road after identifying it an “essential service”.
Some prospective tippers last week said they were concerned police were waiting to nab them – even though the transfer station appeared to be doing business as usual.
A call to the shire’s head office received the same warning: They had heard reports that some domestic tippers had received on-the-spot fines of $1600 as it was “not one of the four legitimate reasons for being out”.
The shire says transfer stations will remain open as waste disposal is considered an essential service. Infrastructure services manager Jessica Wingad said residents could only use the transfer stations if the visit was essential and in line with the level 3 coronavirus rules set by the state government (“Non-essential tip use under fire” The News 5/4/20).
John Renowden, of Mount Martha, said he had been told of the fines and that only commercial tippers – not residents clearing up green waste – were allowed there.
“That wouldn’t be fair,” he said.
“We are locked up at home and it’s good to get out in the garden and clear up our green waste and take it to the tip.
“We are no danger to anyone else, we keep our distance, and we can dump our load and be gone in 10 minutes.
“It’s the tip’s responsibility to keep their workers safe with screens, masks, gloves and sanitisers.”
Mr Renowden said that if commercial gardeners were allowed at the tip “then we should be, too”.
Mornington transfer station was advertised as being open for business and set to close at 4pm last week. No signs stated it was for commercial tippers only.
Senior Sergeant Paul Edwards, of Mornington Police, said the tip was not off-limits to residents. “It’s open to the public and we won’t be booking them,” he said. However, he said people should be asking if they really needed to be getting rid of their rubbish now.