RESIDENTS and authorities are growing increasingly frustrated by people illegally dumping rubbish on the Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s climate change and sustainability manager Melissa Burrage says the council shares the community’s frustration and disappointment around the issue of illegally dumped waste, particularly on roadsides.
Mount Martha resident Katrina Mann drives along Moorooduc Freeway to work every day and says she is horrified by the amount of rubbish that appears to be deliberately dumped.
Getting authorities to take responsibility has added to her frustration, she said.
“This is the gateway to the peninsula and it’s so distressing that people treat the environment like this, I’ve tried VicRoads and I’ve tried local council but the mess is still there, every day.”
Some of the dumped rubbish appears to be trade waste, including discarded plastering and rendering buckets, but there’s also clothing, furniture and general rubbish.
Burrage said the shire’s litter prevention team was aware of the rubbish dumping on major roads and was actively working to help ensure that the dumped material is removed as a priority by VicRoads, which is the responsibly government authority for the roadside reserve along Moorooduc Highway and other major roads.
She said the shire’s litter prevention team would continue to support the team at VicRoads by referring and escalating illegal dumping incidents that occur within roadside reserves under their management.
“The shire’s team is of course hopeful that this, and any future roadside dumping incidents can be resolved swiftly,” she said.
Burrage said the shire was committed to the “timely resolution” of illegal dumping incidents, with three officers working full time to ensure prompt waste removal within the shire’s jurisdiction. She said the removal of rubbish from major roads such as Moorooduc Highway must be done by VicRoads.
Department of Transport spokesman Paul Rogers said the rubbish on and around Moorooduc Highway would be cleaned up this month (October).
“Illegal dumping remains an ongoing challenge for both the Department of Transport and local councils. Our crews carry out regular maintenance inspections of the arterial road network, including around the Mornington Peninsula to ensure it remains safe and clear of any hazards,” he said.
Rogers said the department monitored the road network and priority was usually given to dangerous substances and in locations where offending was likely to encourage others to also dump rubbish there.
Anyone who sees illegal waste dumping or has any information that may help in holding offenders accountable can contact Mornington Peninsula Shire Council at mornpen.vic.gov.au/Contact-Us/Report-a-problem or EPA Victoria on 1300 372 842.
The EPA works with government, industry and the community to identify illegal rubbish dumpers. Its operations include using drones.
Anyone found guilty of illegal waste dumping on the peninsula can be fined up to $44,380.